Congress was the dominant party in India post independence. For the first 25 years, they ruled without strong opposition. From the 1970s to 1990s, INC often lost power, but they always managed to come back. They were indisputable winners – with secure vote banks in every nook and corner of the country. But post 2014, their situation has only been described as “dismal”. BJP’s dominance at the Center has virtually eliminated INC from its original position. But is it all due to the BJP? Let’s explore –
- Leadership – The high command bodies of Congress (eg. Working Committee) are generally headed by Gandhi family members. Many members have never even contested elections, like Ambika Soni.
- Organizational Structure – INC has a lot of leaders, but none of them are organized. Each of them acts on their own, which is detrimental to the party. In-party dissatisfaction, voiced mainly by the G23, also makes the party look weak.
- History – INC has a long history of corruption, nepotism, and fascism – the shadow of which it still can’t escape.
- Defection – Party seniors, who have been associated with the party for a long time, are now beginning to leave the party since they no longer see benefit in this association. Another major reason for defection is lack of rewards – Jyotiraditya Scindia left because INC refused to make him the CM of MP.
- Narrative – INC’s media team is probably their biggest drawback. Their public narrative, explaining their consecutive defeats across states, is always that their message never reached the audience in the way they had intended. INC is also unable to control the media storm about Nehru, or bank upon their involvement with the independence movement. Congress still hasn’t changed their media structure.
- Behavior – INC has even begun behaving like the Opposition. Their stances are pro-minorities to distinguish themselves from BJP, but minorities are firstly not enough to win, and secondly, even these minorities aren’t totally polarized in their favor.
INC is a stubborn party with a weak foundation. Their decline is not only due to BJP, but their own cons – the range of which includes the aforementioned. Even with a strategist like Prashant Kishor on board, they are unlikely to gain back their position in the country.