By Power Corridors ,  17-Jun-2019

This time All India Congress was hopeful of an all India expansion. But the immaturity of the leadership was clearly reflected from the point of the strategy against the enemy.

O 'the warrior you fought, fought bravely! but due to inexperience, faced the defeat in spite of the facts that your heart was clear, you were thrilled and fully packed with passion. But you lacked the eye that can hit at least two targets with one arrow. Energy packed youth had the exblockquotement, but the lack of cold mindedness and endurance resulted in this loss. The trapping was weak, your cavalcades were no better than the dead and your archers failed in controlling the directions of their arrows. All the four weapons of winning were employed against you. But do not forget every defeat gives birth to success.

This time, All India Congress was hopeful of an all-India expansion. But the immaturity of the leadership was clearly reflected from the strategy against the enemy. The hold of the Congress on the Indian people is continuously decreasing. Considering the defeat of Congress as an impact of nationalism and Balakot attack and taking it lightly will be a grave mistake for the Congress again. There is no doubt that after Rajiv Gandhi, the family did not take responsibility for leading the country from the front. Former Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, by making Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India tried to convince that Gandhi family is not hungry for power. But it was seen as Sonia’s compulsion of becoming Prime Minister. By quoting that the economic reforms during the tenure of the UPA government as means of corruption and Manmohan’s silence an attempt was successfully made to make Indians believe that the Gandhi family runs the government with remote control. At the same time, Congress could never recover from the attacks of the regional parties. From the time of Sonia Gandhi to until now, these regional parties due to their personal ambitions kept on strengthening their relationships with BJP, silently. In addition, Rahul Gandhi was tagged as a non-serious politician. Under these circumstances, they became so strong that the hold of the High Command became loose. The failure to form government in Goa even after the majority is its biggest example. Rahul Gandhi has surely increased political activism for the past two years but Priyanka Gandhi’s political debut came when the Modi Government started to attack the family directly. Here, political activism has to be seen at a comparative level. On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not come out of election mode since 2014. At the same time, BJP President Amit Shah travelled the entire country more than once and covered more than one million kilometers of distance in five years. From membership campaigns to booth level management which was taken as events and everything was executed and followed with responsibility. After the last general election, the Congress remained inactive for nearly two years. It took a lot of time to get rid of defeat. The manner in which, Rahul Gandhi, showed his presence in the escalated Mandsaur’s farmer’s movement and then eloped, was revealing that he was unable to get out of the mindset of a part-time politician.  If the political heritage of the Gandhi family is to be kept alive, then the new generation of the family has to prepare the ground for it. Sonia Gandhi who came as a foreigner daughter-in-law protected the family heritage by fighting much more than the expectations and served the power in front of her children. But to save democracy in the country, Congress has to play a key role. As the lineage in India has its own importance, the semi-feudal society still considers leadership as hereditary, the Gandhi family will have to do politics of struggle for their political existence.

The general elections of 2019, show that Rahul Gandhi strengthened his hold on the party to a large extent. Several pythons drowning in the air-conditioned office on 24 Akbar Road were removed. The much-needed actions like removing many power-brokers and showing the door to many of those who were selling the seats to cater to the needs of the opposition were taken. In addition, many who are expert in putting the party in boiling water especially on very sensitive and critical issues were shown the way to the road. Sam Pitroda, a self-praising leader who had recently been received by the party as a gift, by stating “let bygones be bygones” on 84 riots, caused grave damage not only in Punjab and Haryana but in whole of the country and Congress will have to work very hard from scratch to make good of the loss. Earlier also Rahul Gandhi’s strategic team had many persons without any ground experience. Rahul could get rid of them with great difficulty. Now he has youngsters who are skilled in branding, but he still lacks those who are skilled in political understanding, managing the ground level activities and superior orating abilities. Having workers is a very distant thing. After her activism, Priyanka Gandhi understood this very quickly, but she failed to understand; what to say when to say and in front of whom to say. Congress had to pay a heavy price for her this immaturity especially in UP.  Her statement that we are contesting elections not to win power but to stop Modi from winning proved the Congress as a party which can only cut votes. Mayawati, who laid the foundations of Dalit-Yadav harmony by making new political-social relationships with the Yadav family, is now bogging on the Congress for this reason.

However, in the 2019 general election, the ‘Rafale aircraft’ bombarded the Congress. While attacking the Congress forgot that it had a black spot of the Bofors scandal. Under the circumstances attacking the Modi on Rafale proved a costly affair. In the entire Rafael deal, in addition to the economic loss to the country, the allegations of giving the offset contract to his favourite industrialist or helping them in making a good fortune, could not prove that the watchman is a thief. There was never a mention of any amount of bribe in Narendra Modi’s account, while VP Singh had claimed in the Bofors case that he had information about the account in which money was deposited. Although it is a matter of fact that he later gave Rajiv Gandhi a clean chit, but not when he was in the chair. The exblockquoted devotees who felt that they “Got the Eureka “ as Raphael no doubt made an attempt to book the PM Modi, but PM Modi did not listen to the media house of any party, the journalists, who enjoy the fame of exposing the Bofors issue. Rahul Gandhi, despite being the leader of a centrist political party, Congress, entangled himself in the agenda of the Communists. Consequently, opening the front against the capitalists proved very costly. The party felt the shortage of funds even for contesting the elections. Now those leisure-loving communists are blaming the Congress for the defeat. By linking Rafael with nationalism, Modi has turned the game. Asking for the evidence on surgical strike was made to believe as support to Pakistan and the opposition to the Indian Army. The people of India strongly disliked Congress’s “watchman is a thief” slogan. It is totally against the decency to call a prime minister a thief though putting charges of corruption is not considered as a bad thing. Especially when, PM Modi has made an image of him as, a fakir, who is fond of wearing, roaming and talking without having the tendency of accumulating. He has only a mother to look after then for whom will he earn. Modi replied Congress’s slogan of ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ with the slogan of ‘Mai Bhi Chowkidar’. Congress has made a mistake in understanding the public sentiments here. It is also important to understand this sentiment of the public that Modi continues to present himself as a victim of the privileged high class. Regardless of being dressed in expensive clothes, he repeatedly publicised the issue to the Naamdaar-Kaamdaar. He kept saying that these people will kill me. He kept on attacking the culture of Lutyens Delhi’s brokers while addressing his audience during the election rallies. He did not spare Rajiv Gandhi by raising the issue of corruption but the people of the country did not say anything to him. Since independence, the existence of corruption in the country is considered as an outcome of the Congress Raj. For this reason, Congress’s Rafale attack missed the target because the people of the country have started believing that corruption in politics is very common. At the same time, Modi succeeded in spreading that his government was not charged with any scandal.

The second biggest reason is the illiteracy in the country. Yes, but the truth is that the main reason for the success of electoral politics in the name of nationalism, Hindutva, and the army is illiteracy. Even for this illiteracy, people of India blame the Congress as it had ruled India for the last seventy years. This is the result of the illiteracy that even the people of the country still do not know the difference between patriotism and nationalism. The common man is visualising the Rafale with a link to nationalism. For him, nationalism is also very precious like Rafale. That is his patriotism. He is hallucinated about Deshprem, Nation and the Hindu Rashtra. It is not easy to explain the scam in Rafale deal. Sometimes journalists forget and misunderstand many facts. Even the Supreme Court did not give much preference to the case. The matter was declared as the privilege of the Prime Minister. Although perhaps it is for the first time that someone had shown such a privilege in defense deals. Demonetisation and GST were seen as Modi’s motives to improve the country. At the same time, Modi kept on playing with the sentiments and emotions of the electorate during his speeches but the Congress did not notice it. PM Modi, without giving special consideration to Rafael, made the compensation for the losses of demonetisation and GST firstly with the Surgical Strike and later with Balakot attack. This is the country which shows extreme enmity even while playing a cricket match with Pakistan. In such a situation, the across the border attack on Pakistan was an exciting experience from the new generation to the old generation. Due to lack of adversaries of the 1962 war, Balakot attack felt like a Pubzy video game, whose leader was PM Modi. One can say it with the firm conviction that the Congress had no answer to this game-plan of Modi. The impact of this undercurrent was so strong that Congress had been ousted from more than twenty states. For Pakistan, Balakot Attack Pakistan was just a dramatic act, but it did not prove right for the Congress to consider it the same. It proved impossible for the Congress party to nullify its impact. Immediately ahead of Balakot attack Modi was working on the nationwide campaign ‘Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai’ with full zeal and thrust so that, the impact of the Balakot attack can be felt in the elections.

One can say that the Congress was having justice. But the party itself was not in a position to get justice. Even by attacking the false commitment of 15 lakhs in everyone’s account, not even a single dent could be made on the stature of Modi. One can understand the extent to which the people of India are used to the breaking of the promises by their leaders. Charges of destroying democratic institutions are also not a matter of great concern even for the middle class. In such a situation, all these incidents remained out of the understanding of the lower class voters. The only issue of concern for this section was the issue of employment. Rahul Gandhi also talked about employment. The employment sector was severely hit after the demonetisation and GST. But even then the issues like Pakistan, nationalism, airstrikes remained more important for the voters, especially the younger generation voters. Above all, the price rise could not get even a mention in any part of India during these elections.

Above all, despite the outspoken nature of PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi was denied to be considered worthy of his equality. This is the most important part of BJP’s strategy. The leaders of all the regional parties were compared to Modi, who did not contribute much in national politics. It was repeatedly discussed that what is the alternative of Modi, who is the face of the opposition, Rahul Gandhi ... !! That means, there is no match to Modi or there is no alternative to Modi? Congress could not prepare itself to counter these questions. Priyanka Gandhi after joining Rahul Gandhi worked very hard, but the time was too short that she could not do anything solid except doing some rallies.

If Mayawati or other opposition leaders are now blaming the Congress, then they are not doing anything wrong. It is a different matter that earlier the same leaders were not ready to give Congress almost anything (Like in Mahabharata, the Kauravas were not ready to give even five villages to the Pandavas). Now they are telling that the responsibility of fighting against communalism was that of the Congress. These are the same political parties, who themselves do not allow Congress to join the alliance even after distraction with the BJP. The Congress also failed to understand the diplomacy of the duo of the Modi-Shah.

Above all, the most deadly weapon of politics is publicity and Media. It is difficult to find an example of from the history where any government has spent this hefty amount on publicity that has been done by Modi government in the last five years. The BJP did not miss any single effort to make and maintain relationships with media houses. For those journalists who showed commitment and promised to publicise the agenda and policies of the Modi government, new channels were launched almost instantly. At the same time, all the possible steps were taken against those journalists who were against the Modi government. Opposition to the government was considered as opposition to BJP. This means the BJP fought a strong battle even in the media. The BJP fought this election called World War of Democracy with complete devotion and dedication at all levels; volunteer organizations, educational institutions, bureaucracy, judiciary, etc. But Rahul Gandhi, though defeated proved himself as Abhimanyu against very Strong and experienced Modi. But this failure will help Rahul Gandhi prove himself a Rustam, one day.`