Monday, December 24, 2007

What does the Congress do now after the Gujrat disaster ?

Well, the Gujrat elections have come and gone, and in the process delivered a mighty blow to the grand old decayed party of India, also known as the Congress party. From the start, the Congress (ans almost the entire media) has declared that the Gujrat election will be the one surprise that will hasten the end of the BJP; what with the development slogan being false, by trying to pit the caste factions against each other; by trying to scare the people about Modi being a person who can get people killed without any worry. They in fact have been lulled into setting themselves up for this shock, believing the media that the election is theirs for the taking, that the BJP defectors will cause immense losses to the BJP. In the end, there was the ultimate weapon of the dynasty with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi entering the fray and seeking to make it a Modi vs. Sonia battle.
Well, this one was comprehensively beaten. Just like the UP elections, it is pretty clear that the dynasty are not capable of fetching votes for the Congress; they can only do it if they build up strong local leaders who can bring up an organization. And yet, it is impossible for the Congress to either agree that their dependence on the dynasty is a failed endeavor, or that having a state leader strong enough to win the state is impossible. The Congress High Command lives in the perpetual thought that only of each state has multiple leaders consistently fighting each other will none of them be in the position of challenging the central leadership. However, no one in the Congress will say this to the Madam:

With the elections having gone horribly wrong for Congress, questions are sure to be asked if the party leadership erred in allowing the contest to be framed as a Sonia versus Modi affair. The post-facto wisdom may appear correct because the humiliation has taken the sheen off the party’s mascot, exposing the limits of the dynasty’s charisma. But the risk was unavoidable considering the complete electoral irrelevance of party’s bigwigs as well as the fact that its leaders in Gujarat are not a factor outside their districts.
Screaming from under the Congress rubble in Gujarat and its bare leadership cupboard is the party’s abject dependence on an individual. As a party strategist, using the room for an honest assessment with the polls out of the way, said, "Never before had the Congress appeared so desperately dependent on her."

And of course it is now open season on the strategy. The media is all over the disasters in the Congress strategy, what with the direct attack on Modi, the reliance on BJP rebels, the pushing of a campaign to portray Modi's development efforts as false; and most of all, the Congress keeping on relying on the wrong set of advisors. Now if the Himachal election also throws the Congress out, it will be a disaster for the Congress, and will cause shake-out to the extent of the Congress president of that state; nothing can touch Sonia Gandhi.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 4:26 AM