In 2009 again, DMK, TMC and YSR in AP helped them along with its increase of votes in urban areas mostly due to good performance of Dr. Manmohan Singh and weak opponent leader LK Advani.
But the scenario is different now. Neither any support is likely to come from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and even from Bihar! Forget about all other places, even in Karnataka if there is a strategic coalition between KJP and BJP, their seat earning may be quite down! Thus Congress is seriously heading to be routed in the forth coming elections irrespective of the matter whether NDA or the 3rd front or the 4th front forms the government.
The excuse that assembly elections' verdict is on local issues is just an illusion. In fact this is a verdict against UPA! The Congress spokespersons sue motto are telling that Sheila Dikshit's and Ashok Gehelot's governments were performing well, then why they lost? In fact in anti-incumbency, defeats are possible, but this is just decimation of the party!
In Rajasthan, BJP got 80% seats, in Madhya Pradesh BJP being incumbent for last 15 years increased its tally by 23 seats, in Chhattisgarh, despite a sympathy wave in Bastar and adjoining areas, the Congress failed to form the government and conceded to BJP. In Delhi, the seat tally remained in single figure of 8 and its three time chief minister was defeated by a new comer by more than 24000 votes. Still if Congress says it’s a local phenomenon, then they must be in a fool’s paradise.
However, let’s find out some points where the Congress did horrible mistakes and failed to read the public mind. I hope more points would be added by readers and the Congress should also give a deep thought on such issues if it really wants to introspect.
Price rise: When it comes to survival, forget about poor people, even middle class came out openly to oppose and both the classes comprise of around 80% of the population. In 2009 also there was a price rise issue. However, that was the period of global recession and interestingly India was least affected.
When Dr. Manmohan Singh promised that he will end this inflation within 100 days, people trusted him. This trust came because people started seeing Dr.Manmohan Singh as a determined and strong Prime Minister, who didn’t care survival of his government for the Indo-US nuke deal!
But perhaps even after 100 days, there was no reprieve from price rise and rather it became intolerable to even higher middle class people! This became one of the sensitive issues directly related with public, yet the top leadership like Sonia Gandhi; Rahul Gandhi never talked on it! Rather they talked RTI, FSB which are either small issue or non-issue in front of the demon of price rise! Interestingly there is no global recession!
Corruption: Within days of UPA-II takeover, there was a tsunami of corruption cases from UPA allies and the Congress people! Still there's no stoppage! What made people angry is the inaction by the UPA or the Congress President over the issue of corruption! The situation ended up in openly influencing the CBI despite court-monitored Coalgate case and finally the files were lost also. No visible action was taken from 2G, CWG to Coalgate case, as if corruption is a none-issue in the elections! This was the horrible mistake by the Congress in reading the public mind and their matured sense of acceptance!
Policy paralysis: In 2009, Congress did very well in urban centers and particularly in middle class strong holds! It’s because they see a good economic growth oriented future in economist Dr. Manmohan Singh! But in UPA-II, Manmohan remained mostly invisible, mute and of course disabled! The result of policy paralysis caused high unemployment! Companies started de-hiring people, projects stopped due to lack of investments. In some sectors either the salaries were reduced or no-increment policy implemented. This coupled with inflation made survival impossible and hence public outrage was by default!
Insensitive comments: When public is suffering because of price rise and non-employment, there comes comments that one can have a meal for Rs 5/-. Some Congress people said that because public started to eat two vegetable curry, that’s why vegetable price rise occurs! Kapil Sibal’s zero loss theory or P.Chidambaram’s “Coal in Mother Earth’s womb” comment deeply irritated public sentiment! People found themselves cheated because they elected to such a government, that’s now sensible to public suffering and anger!
Demonizing Modi & Communal-Secular card: Modi may have some issues with communalism. But why Congress tried to demonizing him! If you did good works for last 10 years, why don't you ask people to vote on your performance? Why ask votes on Modi’s performance, on 2002 Godhra riots! When one doesn’t have many things to prove, then they use short-cut route of secularism-communalism card to sensitize and polarize people. But nowadays people are not full and particularly when their survival is at stake? Also one can understand the peculiar comments from Congress and some their other allies. Like, Shivaraj Singh Chouhan is a better PM candidate than Modi! It’s BJP’s prerogative to find their PM candidate, why do you intervene in those matters, is it not because you don’t trust on your party?
Dolemonics: I heard this word from TV channels which is denote to declaring sops in the eve of election so as to woo voters or more directly to bribe voters. But voters now audit your performance than to believe such doles! Ashok Gehlot promised so many sops! Even Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi repeatedly recited Food Security Bill and other such issues. They thought that public is fool and will remain loyal to them considering Rs 3 per Kg rice forgetting Rs 100 per kg onion! Thus this a horrible mistake considering people as fools!
Strong Leadership: As a party, you need to have a strong leader to go to public. People were earlier finding a strong leader in Sonia and even Manmohan Singh during 2009! But Rahul Gandhi doesn’t look like a leader at all. Some says, he is like a driver, who is putting the vehicle in neutral gear just pressing the accelerator! This may create some sound but the vehicle (read party) is nowhere going unless it put in any other gear! Now this may either due to inability of Rahul to engage any gear or maybe he is prohibited to touch the gear handle! But whatever reason it may be, sans a strong leadership, no worker at field gets motivated!
The Congress at least needs to introspect all the above issues! There may be other serious issues also. It may not return to power in 2014 general election, but to maintain a respectable number and not to be decimated completely, the task is in hands of Congress!