‘Rahul tours didn’t touch soul of India’

Translated text of an editorial in Chandrika, the Muslim League’s print organ, blaming Rahul Gandhi for the UPA’s poll performance.

Updated: May 22, 2014 8:46 am

While celebrations are on at the BJP headquarters, No 24 Akbar Road (Congress HQ) is a picture of gloom. The Congress is weighed down by the the rout, the worst for a party that has been out of power for only 18 of India’s post-Independence years. A few days from now, BJP’s hardcore Hindutva government will come to power in Delhi. Though it is a matter of concern that the baton of this secular country is being handed over to a Hindutva party, the mandate should be respected.

The Congress’s defeat in the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha is without a parallel. The party that once controlled the destiny of the country could only get 44 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. The big question is, why was the party with a 128-year-old tradition abandoned by the people? The usual refrain — that Congress could not take its achievements to the people and that the leadership was ready to quit — will not be enough to heal wounds. The fall of the Congress to its present low took even the BJP by surprise.

It is a good sign that the party will see an overhaul. Only a detailed examination will bring out the real reasons for the rout. It is important for the Congress to stand for the secular, democratic tradition of the country. That tradition should not be left to weaken.

It has to be understood that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s one-man campaign did not benefit the party. While the effort needs to be appreciated, Rahul should have realised that these tours were not touching the soul of India.

Rahul only took into confidence members of his young team. Unlike in 2009, the election war room didn’t run from Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Road but from Rahul’s Tughlak Lane residence, where senior leaders with decades of experience were denied access. Jairam Ramesh, who had made the strategy of the campaigns of 2004 and 2009, was kept out.

The Rahul brigade did not learn from the party’s failures in various state elections. By projecting Rahul, who has never been even a minister of state, the Congress made it easier for Modi to implement his high-tech strategies. Compared to Modi, the Congress failed in effectively using modern technology.

While Modi turned the allegations against him to his advantage by consolidating the Hindu vote, the Congress could not thwart such campaigns. It’s a matter of concern for secularists that the Congress has been ineffective in taking on the BJP’s campaign. The Congress failed to turn the election into a battle between two ideologies.

The Congress did not have an attractive slogan for this election. The party that designed such creative slogans as ‘Garibi hatao’, ‘Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath’ faced a vacuum on that front. On the other hand, the BJP had gained the upper hand with new slogans. The leadership vacuum, the absence of suitable allies, wrong economic policies, price rise, corruption and other issues accelerated the Congress’s defeat in many states, except in Kerala. Let the decision to overhaul the party be the first step to cleansing the party and regaining public faith.

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First Published on: May 22, 2014 2:45 am
  1. C
    Chakra
    May 22, 2014 at 7:09 am
    Congress needs a focal point. The hi surname provides that. With a focal point, the internal bickering is stopped. Otherwise, all leaders fight to become the most powerful. Also, the inherent slave mentality of Indians need a leadership which is beyond ordinary. Hence, Congress clings to hi family.But Rahul does not provide the confidence and his abstract thinking pattern is not understood by Congress leader, forget about common man.
    Reply
    1. I
      indian
      May 22, 2014 at 6:26 am
      Secularism and communalism talk should stop now. Does writer think that all who voted for new government are all communal. This is wrong and must stop.
      Reply
      1. K
        kseshaiah
        May 22, 2014 at 6:39 am
        wrong. It fetched them power for ten years which is fairly long in country's history. Losing power after ten years may not be that shameful. The party has to reinvent its policies in sink with the aspirations of the young and pose a challenge to BJP whenever the next opportunity arise. It is in the interest of the country that it should have a choice so that the rulers are kept in check.
        Reply
        1. D
          diggy
          May 22, 2014 at 9:23 am
          it is high time the GOP GETS AWAY FROM THE HI MANIA.......THE YOUNG VOTER TODAY IS FED UP WITH ANY NAME THAT REEKS OF CORRUPTION AND THE NAME HI HAS THEREFORE GOT MUDDLED WITH SYNCOPHANCY ETC....CONGRESS GET AWAY AND GET A NEW ICO LIKE MODI DID
          Reply
          1. J
            Janardhan Rao Maddu
            May 22, 2014 at 7:44 am
            A party controlled by the FAMILY and followed and supported by the SYCOPHANTS has to meet this end results.Party was fighting the election under a person who hadn't even managed a Munility in his life.It was a scary situation.
            Reply
            1. V
              Varinder singh
              May 22, 2014 at 5:54 am
              Congress lost not because of Rahul but because of rampant corruption and the leadership supporting the corrupt, high inflation and party not able to control it.
              Reply
              1. R
                Ravindran Nambiar
                May 22, 2014 at 1:58 am
                The senior congress leaders who dragged Sonia and forcibly made her to accept the leadership of the party calculating that with out hi name congress can not survive was a wrong decision. Now the things have gone out of control that nobody who preferred to work under the hi name have the guts to prove their capacity individually. At present situation the future of congress is bleak.
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