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  Opinion   The Age Debate  08 Mar 2018  What’s needed before 2019

What’s needed before 2019

Published : Mar 8, 2018, 2:42 am IST
Updated : Mar 8, 2018, 2:42 am IST

Congress needs a total makeover if it has to have any chance in the 2019 elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (Photo: PTI)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (Photo: PTI)

Cong needs to promote able leaders
Devang Dave

The BJP juggernaut continues — it raised the saffron flag for the first time in 25 years in the Northeast. What was considered a strong Left-fortress soon became the land of the rising Sangh! As soon as the election results were out, Congress president Rahul Gandhi took the first flight out of India to meet his granny and celebrate her 90th birthday.

Well, best wishes to her and here’s hoping that more years are added to her illustrious life. However, on the other hand, the lifespan of the 133-year old Indian National Congress is getting reduced by the day.


Arunachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Meghlaya and Nagaland — all are BJP strongholds now while the Congress’ fortunes have taken a turn for the worse. The Congress is now reduced to only four states.

The old guard seems to have failed to hold the fort for the party, while the young guns, except for Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, aren’t being given any importance. A change in the party leadership hasn’t yielded the results as expected.

Mr Gandhi’s much-talked-about unopposed promotion as Congress president has failed to deliver any concrete results. His not-so-impressive leadership has failed to evoke any confidence among the party cadres. With the 2019 elections just around the corner, it seems unlikely that the Congress will witness a revival or makeover of any sorts. Its overdependence on dynasty politics and continued emphasis on caste-based politics has rendered it ineffective. Ignoring the real issues —  development and job creation — in the states it is ruling has also put a huge dent on its already tarnished image.


Further, Congress ministers have repeatedly used their official positions for their own selfish gains. The lack of punitive action against the tainted ministers has further spoilt the image of the Congress Party.

Just when we thought that the UPA scams were over for good, came the PNB-Nirav Modi and Karthi Chidambaram scams; both initiated during the excessively corrupt UPA-2 government.

More than a Congress comeback, what is even more needed is a complete change in the Congress ideology. A morally clean Congress is essential for a constructive and productive Opposition. The Congress culture still reeks of the 130-year old philosophy; it is still dependent on “divide and rule politics”.


Does the country really need a political party that will lay emphasis on politics over good governance? You know the answer!

Will we see a change in Congress fortunes under Mr Gandhi’s leadership? Given the political stance of the Gandhi-scion, this seems highly unlikely.

Hence, a complete makeover, amidst crumbling alliances, is much needed for the Congress Party.
The writer is national convenor, BJYM Information Technology Committee

People areunhappy with BJP
Ashish Dua

This assertion itself is misplaced. We have the love and support of the people and we will oust the BJP government that is failing on all fronts in the 2019 elections. I concede we lost Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh but we did extremely well in Punjab. We were the single largest party in Goa but due to the machinations of the ruling dispensation at the Centre we were denied our rightful seat in the government in that state.


Now, let’s take a look at Gujarat, the bastion of the BJP and Sangh politics, the home state of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. In Gujarat, the Congress had the strongest performance in the Assembly elections in the last three decades. Our tally improved markedly.

Again, in the recently-concluded Assembly elections, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in Meghalaya but the BJP, with just two seats, used its machinations to form the government there.

Even in the Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh byelections, people voted for us, clearly indicating that they are unhappy with the policies of the BJP government.


The problem with the BJP is that it is leaving governance out and adopting machinations. There is a list of questions that the Congress has put up before the Prime Minister ,but he has not yet responded to it. The unemployment rate has reached alarming proportions but this government is not bothered about it. The Congress is raising various issues plaguing the country; issues that have arisen because of sheer incompetence of the BJP government.

Then we have the saga of the PNB-Nirav Modi bank scam. We have been saying that several people had written letters about the scam while it was taking place, but the government made no effort to stop it. The entire banking system is shaken; the list of fugitives under the keen eye of this government is only increasing.


Look at the agriculture sector — small farmers are reeling under debt and the government has done nothing for them. Demonetisation and the hasty implementation of GST have hit small and medium traders hard. The unorganised sector has suffered the most; there has been massive job losses for which only the BJP is to be blamed.

As far as the Congress is concerned it is not a static organisation. In some measure it is always in election mode. Actually, the party machinery is much more election-oriented than most other parties. Congress workers and local leaders are holding their own against the BJP.

The desperation of the BJP is evident in its refusal to engage in assessment of the government’s performance, and Mr Modi’s reliance on traditional and social media, laced with half-truths, untruths and loudspeak.


In the end, I would only say that it is the BJP that needs to go in for a total makeover if it has to have any chance in the 2019 elections.
The writer is a Congress leader and AICC member

Tags: rahul gandhi, nirav modi, narendra modi