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Why Congress' euphoria over election victories is misplaced?
The Congress party is feeling euphoric over its wins in the Hindi heartland but it is too premature to celebrate as the results speak more of anti-incumbency than any real affinity for the party.

People don't have much of a choice and the BJP squandered its mandate by failing to deliver on its promises and letting fringe elements run riot. Also, Rahul Gandhi managed to garner some sympathy thanks to his underdog status.

The truth, however, is that the Congress has more to fear from its own people than those from the BJP. Its years in power as the sole pan-Indian party have created a certain culture within the Congress. This culture prevents it from recognising regional aspirations which explains why regional parties like the TDP and the DMK rose to power in the states. This culture also privileges the old guard over young leaders like Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia, who could have done wonders if they had been given the reins in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh respectively. The time was right for them to take charge but unfortunately, the geriatric club – Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath - managed to retain control. This does not bode well at all. People voted for change and what do they get – the same, tired old faces!

It is also a fact that regional leaders like KCR in Telengana, Mayavati and Akhilesh Yadav are wary of the Congress. KCR, who has his eyes on the PM's chair, has been trying to cobble a third front. This is because the opposition realises that neither the Congress nor the BJP is likely to respect regional leaders and support their demands, once they are installed in power. Under the circumstances, a third front, if it constitutes leaders like KCR, who has actually done much good for his people, if reports are to be believed, is a splendid idea.

One thing is certain – if the Congress wants to claw its way back into the hearts of the people, it must shed its old ways. It must accommodate regional leaders and regional aspirations and it must desist from playing vote-bank politics and treat everyone fairly.  It must give more opportunities to young leaders and jettison party members who are more interested in power rather than serving the people. It must also allow the opposition to function in Parliament, instead of trying to drown its voice. We expect more maturity and decorum from our leaders. The BJP was able to come to power solely because of the ineptitude, arrogance, and corruption of the Congress. Instead of using that power to create a new and better India, the BJP squandered its chance. Modi could easily have won another term. If that is in doubt now, it's because of his party's failure to focus on development. Instead it focused on cows and statues and renaming cities.

While the BJP licks its wounds, the Congress should try to regain lost ground. And that will be possible only if there is a change of guard and culture.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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