In this post for Myvoice Opindia, Congress Spokesperson Sanjay Jha elaborates on the results of his introspection as to why the Congress Party lost the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections.
I must admit to being shocked when the election results came in and the BJP crossed 300 seats and the Congress was stuck around 50. Journalists and politicians were screaming that Rahul Gandhi should resign.
However, on silent introspection I was enlightened to the fact that actually this election had finally seen Rahul Gandhi coming of age. He definitely made mistakes but he is sure to learn from them. So the future of the Congress Party and India can only be brighter from here. Now, let me explain Rahul Baba’s achievements and mistakes.
Rahul Gandhi single-handedly won the assembly elections against the BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh 6 months back. However, he is not autocratic like Modi and he believes in devolving power. So, after winning these states, he delegated authority to the respective chief ministers expecting them to deliver. He did not interfere even when he was unhappy with the chief ministers Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot for giving tickets to their sons and spending most of their time campaigning for them. But he is getting all the blame for the defeat. This is true hallmark of a great leader, delegating authority but owning accountability.
Unlike Modi, Rahul Gandhi believes in taking everyone along. That is why he ceded authority to regional allies and like-minded parties across India, from the RJD in Bihar, the NCP in Maharashtra, the JDS in Karnataka and the TMC in West Bengal. If they failed to deliver, Rahul Gandhi definitely cannot be blamed. In Uttar Pradesh, the SP BSP Mahagathbandhan allotted just 2 seats to the Congress. Rahul Gandhi requested Soniaji to keep the campaign in Rae Bareilly low key and convinced Priyankaji not to contest from Varanasi so as not to overshadow the Mahagathbandhan. He even sacrificed his Amethi seat for this purpose. What can he do if despite all his help, the Mahagathbandhan failed to deliver?
However, in states that Rahul Gandhi led from the front, Congress won hands down. Rahul Gandhi may tolerate dynasty politics like he did in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan but he will never tolerate communal hatred. That is the reason he publicly scolded Sam Pitroda in Punjab. It is no wonder that Congress won Punjab. In the absence of a strong Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi decided to himself lead from the front in Kerela and naturally the Congess swept Kerela. Rahul’s mere presence in the South ensured the BJP lost in Kerela, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and most of Telangana. Karnataka was lost because Rahul Baba delegated power to CM Kumaraswamy who failed to deliver.
Despite Stalin being new to the job, UPA swept Tamil Nadu. The reasons are obvious. Stalin was the only leader who had pitched Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister. So, when the people in Tamil Nadu stepped out to vote, they knew the choice was between either Rahul Gandhi or Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Obviously, Modi stood no chance. If the leaders in other states had followed suit rather than each one fighting to become the Prime Minister, the result would have been different. The Communists were once the topmost party in West Bengal.
But over the last decade, they first fought for first position and lost, then fought for second position and lost and in this election, they fought for third position and lost. They have also been decimated in Kerela. Rahul Gandhi believes in taking everyone along and he ensured that the CPI and the CPIM both won 2 seats each in Tamil Nadu. Rahul Gandhi not only stood by Stalin but also wanted him to live up to his name. That is the reason he prevailed upon Stalin to give CPI and CPIM seats and save them from extinction. Now, thanks to Rahul Gandhi, Stalin has lived up to his name of saving Communism from the forces of Fascism.
The BJP’s election campaign was viscous and terrified even seasoned Congress leaders. Digvijay Singh was so scared of saffron terror that he did not even step out to cast his own vote. Rahul Gandhi faced this BJP mean machine on his own without any support from other Congress leaders. Rahul Gandhi cares for the party workers more than election victories. Mani Shankar Aiyer has been itching for a long time to abuse Narendra Modi but Rahul Gandhi had put a gag order on him. When the election had come to the last phase, Rahul Gandhi had already realized that the election was lost. So, taking pity on Mani Shankar Aiyer, he told him “Ja jee le apni zindagi”.
Rahul Gandhi knew that apart from making Mani Shankar Aiyer happy, this will also make BJP workers happy. But he believed that now that the elections had almost come to an end, it was time to forget interparty differences and work together for the country. Rahul Gandhi is the leader India awaits.