Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 26 February 2024 4.11 PM IST

Election is for those who have learned their lesson


Every election gives new lessons to political parties. There are those who learn their lessons and those who are not willing to. The five state assembly elections, described as the semi-finals of the Lok Sabha elections due early next year, were crucial for BJP ruling at the Centre. The opposition parties, including the Congress, who are bent on ousting the BJP from power by any means, can only watch in defeat as their opponents emerge victorious in all three states. The relevance of the 'INDIA' front itself, which was created to end the BJP rule, is being questioned.

The fact that Congress lost power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh is a huge blow to the party. The election forecasters had given the upper hand to the Congress in these two states. On the other hand, in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress had the belief that it could regain power on the wings of anti-government sentiment. However, BJP's resounding victory in Madhya Pradesh with 163 out of 230 seats has surprised even the party leadership. On the other hand, the Congress, which was hopeful of governance, won only 66 seats.
Congress, which came to power with a majority in the 2018 elections, lost its rule due to leaders changing parties. They entered the election field this time with increased vigour to take revenge. However, the clever political moves of BJP have cut down the challenge of Congress sharply. Despite the anti-incumbency sentiment, Congress was unable to defend the BJP lead. BJP's victory in Madhya Pradesh reflects the people's desire for strong governance.

The party has many lessons to learn from the defeat of the Congress in Rajasthan, which had put its full faith in the stalwart Ashok Gehlot. The impact of the explosion in the party leadership during the cabinet formation following the last election victory is still lingering. What the party had to lose in the power struggle between Gehlot and Sachin Pilot was the power they had in hand. The big promises made by the Gehlot government to the people in the run-up to the elections should be considered to have had no impact. Congress, which had won 100 seats in the previous election, had to settle for 69 seats this time. On the other hand, the BJP, which won the majority, jumped from 73 to 115 seats.

The scene in Chhattisgarh is similar to Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Not only had no survey predicted an easy victory for BJP there, but Congress was predicted to have the upper hand. However, BJP has come to power by winning 54 seats to the surprise of political experts. In the 90-member assembly, the Congress came down to 35 seats from 66. Here too, Congress had made many promises. It's just that not many people were willing to take any of them at face value.

The only consolation for the Congress was in Telangana in South India. The Congress is coming to power there after ousting K Chandrasekhara Rao, who had been in power for ten years. The current Congress victory gives the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who played a major role in the formation of Telangana, a chance to rejoice. It is an achievement for Congress to win Telangana along with Karnataka in South India. It is generally considered that the KCR government's corruption and mismanagement are what led to the loss of power. Not only Congress but also the opposition BJP raised corruption and mismanagement as the main slogan against the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samiti and it worked among the people as well.

As usual, this election also brought out the leadership mistakes and organizational weaknesses of the Congress. Even the top Congress leaders are following the approach of trying to bring the people to their side by personally insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and making baseless allegations. At least the Congress members themselves should not forget the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom the leaders of the Congress make such a mockery of, is the main campaigner of the BJP in the three states where the Congress suffered a huge defeat. The enthusiasm shown by the people to support BJP, which has taken the lead in election strategy, candidate selection and campaigning style, will help them face next year's general elections with more confidence. Along with this, the reality that most of the southern states are still keeping the party at a distance is a challenge for the leadership. With the completion of the current assembly elections, sixteen states in the country are under BJP rule. This is an achievement that the Congress could once have claimed.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi responded after the election results that Congress will continue to fight ideologically. He has also said that he will humbly accept the people's verdict. What else is there to do? This is also an opportunity to assess the present state of Congress, whose foundation started to shake since the Narasimha Rao government. Looking at the voting percentage in this election, it can be seen that Congress is the party that has the trust of the people. The party should try to keep the people together and regain the lost trust. For that, the current leadership needs to be significantly overhauled. If Congress is not ready for that, the upcoming election will also give a big blow to the party.

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