Secret of Congress success

The Rajasthan Congress chief, Sachin Pilot, has put the creditable electoral success of the party in the recent by-elections to the hard and sustained work the party workers had been making among the people for the last four years. He has claimed that he had been in the ‘election mode’ since 2013, the year the party was defeated by the BJP. There was a great deal of inspired speculation that the Congress was faction ridden in Rajasthan, divided between the followers of Pilot, Gehlot and C. P. Joshi.  But the actual results show that at all levels the party had acted as a single unit. When the grassroots level workers feel enthused, interact regularly with people and bring the feedback from them to the leadership, a close relationship develops between the people and the party. Once this party-people relationship gets gelled, the party emerges victorious. People’s alienation from the ruling party alone does not guarantee automatic victory. 
Then there is the need to reinvigorate the party constantly by infusing young blood. The success of the Congress in Gujarat was due to a large extent to the leadership of Rahul Gandhi who took on board the likes of Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakore. Whether they enrolled as members of the Congress or became associates of the party was immaterial. What was necessary was to present a strong phalanx of opposition to the ruling establishment. That the new Congress President Rahul Gandhi is becoming a strong opposition leader is confirmed by the viciousness of the attacks that are being made on him. A weak and ineffective opposition leader does not evoke so much splenetic reaction from a ruling party feeling sure of its strength and hold on the masses.
Rahul is reportedly trying to stick together a strong alliance of all the major opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh before the Lok Sabha elections. If he succeeds in persuading Akhilesh/Mulayam Yadav and Mayawati to join hands with the Congress working as a catalytic agent, it is likely to become a formidable force. Uttar Pradesh has seen a spurt of crimes after the State Assembly elections. Then there came the the death of hundreds of babies in the Government hospitals. A large number of these deaths was attributed to an acute shortage of oxygen cylinders. Inquiries were ordered but what tangible follow-up action was taken, nobody knows. There are plenty of issues to agitate on. If the Opposition welds as a team, Yogi Adityanath will have to face a formidable challenge.

Monday, 12 February, 2018