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What ails congress party?

, December 10, 2013, 0 Comments

What ails congress party - MarketExpressThe Congress Government at the centre had been able to carry out most of the reform agenda it had set as target. It has passed the banking bill, pension bill, land acquisition bill, food security bill and, if all goes well, will pass the insurance bill and the DTC, in the winter session of Parliament. So the government cannot be held wanting in completing its reform agenda. It has fulfilled its agenda of providing right to food, right to education and right to information, and has thus fulfilled a great deal of the people’s aspirations.

Thus the performance of the UPA II government has not been all that bad. Then why has the Congress Party got a beating in the recently held state elections. A primary source of anger for the people comes from the perception of UPA II as being a corrupt government. A large number of scams have occurred during the tenure of UPA II and the people have reacted.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has always been perceived as a honest man. But the people have not forgiven him primarily for his role in the telecom, coal and rail scams. The PM may not have done anything wrong himself. But as the head of the government he failed to check the wrong doings of his party men.

In the just concluded state elections Congress has been defeated in three out of four states.   Of these Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh were already under BJP rule and that continues to be so. It is primarily only in Rajasthan that Congress has suffered a net loss as compared to the last elections. In any case this will amount to a loss of only about 10 seats when it comes to national elections.

Thus the net impact as far as the 2014 elections are concerned will only be marginal. This really does not amount to much. What  will ultimately matter will be the performance of the party in UP, Bihar and South, North East and East India. Only if Congress suffers a jolt in these regions will the party suffer a major setback in the general elections.

There is an overwhelming dissatisfaction among the public over the performance of the Prime Minister. Not only does he fail to interfere in matters of national importance, he also fails to communicate with the people and is perceived as a PM observing continued silence.

The Congress Party should have made a change in its PM when the Coalgate broke out. But the party failed to act at that juncture.

Now it is too late in the day to change the leadership and the silent Sardarji will have to continue till the term of UPA II  is complete.
It is high time the Congress Party nominates a new PM candidate. Rahul has not proved to be up to the mark. He is perceived  to be a lamb before tiger Modi. The latter can easily eat up the former. The Congress needs a PM candidate who can match the oratory of Modi. At the present moment it needs a leader who can shout at the top of his voice just as Modi does.

The new leader could be shouting in a more sensible way than what Modi is doing. He need not make mistakes in reporting historical and economic facts. He will not be communal and authoritarian. He will not be divisive. He will put forward the agenda of the Congress Party in matters of economic, foreign and education policy. He should speak in a strong, loud and persuasive voice. He should be able to counter Modi and win the hearts of the Indian public.

Who could be the chosen one. It could be Chidambaram or Kapil Sibal or Manish Tiwari or Anand Sharma or Shashi Tharoor or Scindia or someone else – a young face of the Congress Party. The choice has to be made jointly by Sonia and Rahul. Rahul can gradually take over from Sonia as party president. He is not the right man to become PM. It is the right time for the Sonia-Rahul duo to act decisively failing which there will be no chance for revival of the Congress fortunes before the 2014 elections.