Home » News » Opinion » Punjab Verdict Classic Case of Congress Hara-Kiri, Party Reduced to 2 CMs At Par With AAP Now
3-MIN READ

Punjab Verdict Classic Case of Congress Hara-Kiri, Party Reduced to 2 CMs At Par With AAP Now

By: N C Satpathy

CNN-News18

Last Updated: March 11, 2022, 09:20 IST

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on March 4, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on March 4, 2022. (PTI Photo)

Assembly elections result 2022: The Congress has sunk to an unbelievable low. Rahul Gandhi cannot turn around the Congress fortunes and, at best, can step down and allow a non-Gandhi to take over.

One of the biggest headlines from the Assembly election results 2022 on March 10 is the total collapse of the Congress. The grand old party managed to win only two seats in crucial Uttar Pradesh despite Priyanka Gandhi Vadra holding the maximum number of rallies and roadshows.

It was decimated in Punjab. Harish Rawat lost in Uttarakhand. As the BJP swept this round of state elections 4-1, the Congress turned out to be a non-player under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul’s reaction to the latest humiliation was “we will learn our lesson”. But the question is when and to do what.

It is abundantly clear the voters have absolutely no faith for the Congress under the Gandhis.

Rahul Gandhi had stepped down as the Congress president after the party faced yet another humiliating defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections at the hands of Narendra Modi. The Congress dissident grouping known as Group of 23 or G-23 has been clamouring for a full-time president and organisational elections for the last three years.

There is a leadership vacuum in the Congress party since Sonia Gandhi is only an interim president and it’s about three years since Rahul stepped down. But there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that it is Rahul Gandhi who is taking all the decisions, some of which have gone horribly wrong.

ALSO READ | Mandate 2022 Shows Yogi is King in the North and AAP is the Harbinger of Hope

Look no further than Punjab where the well-entrenched chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was unceremoniously overthrown just months before the Assembly elections. Navjot Singh Sidhu led a sustained campaign to oust Amarinder Singh and the Gandhis obliged. It seemed the dust would settle with the installation of Sidhu as state president and Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit chief minister. But far from it.

A sulking Sidhu was placated by making him the state Congress chief who kept undermining Chief Minister Channi. The Punjab verdict is a classic case of Congress hara-kiri.

The party’s top brass is dragging its feet and is yet to settle the leadership tussle in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Promises made to former Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot after his rebellion last year are yet to be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitin Prasada, RPN Singh, Sushmita Deb and Priyanka Chaturvedi (to name a few) jumped ship for greener pastures. It’s a long list of deserters.

Last October, Priyanka gained some brownie points by standing up to the Uttar Pradesh policemen in the wake of the farmers’ protests that had turned violent in Lakhimpur Kheri. This had prompted old-timers to compare her heroics to her grandmother Indira Gandhi riding on an elephant back in Bihar’s Belchi in 1977 to meet family members of slain Dalits. During the course of campaigning, many even posed with Priyanka for selfies. UP results are proof that selfies do not win elections.

It’s unlikely the Gandhis can turn around the Congress fortunes. Never before the Congress had lost so badly. Now the party is left with only two CMs – Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, same as the Aam Aadmi Party.

Post-Emergency, when the Congress lost badly in 1977, it was still the dominant party all across India. Even though Indira Gandhi had suffered her worst defeat, the Congress had won 154 Lok Sabha seats. It had swept Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and had done very well in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam. Now, the party has been wiped out in UP, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha.

The party failed to win Kerala assembly elections in 2021, which is known for rotating governments every five years, even after winning 16 out of 20 Lok Sabha seats in 2019. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the Congress has ceded space to Jagan Mohan Reddy and K Chandrasekhar Rao’s parties. In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is a marginal player and in Karnataka its leaders are locked in a protracted ego tussle.

The party has sunk to an unbelievable low. Sonia Gandhi, the longest serving Congress president, has done her bit and Rahul Gandhi cannot turn around the Congress fortunes. Rahul, at best, can step down and allow a non-Gandhi to take over. Someone who has the zeal to fight. That would be a big favour to his party. March 10 results were the last straw. Quit now.

Read all minute-by-minute news updates for Uttar Pradesh election results 2022, Punjab election results 2022, Uttarakhand election results 2022, Manipur election results 2022, and Goa election results 2022.

Click here for seat-wise LIVE result updates.

first published:March 11, 2022, 09:20 IST
last updated:March 11, 2022, 09:20 IST