Congress needs ‘surgical strike’ after Lok Sabha poll debacle, not superficial rejig: Experts

The Congress has mostly booted out state unit chiefs after Assembly election losses. For instance, after the 2013 drubbing in Rajasthan, the chief was replaced with Young Turk Sachin Pilot. 

Published: 26th May 2019 05:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th May 2019 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: After the second successive debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) saw usual scenes of resignations of some of the top leaders, which were unanimously rejected. Defeat after defeat in polls since 2014  — Assembly and Lok Sabha alike — the Congress has promised an overhaul of the party. However, experts say the party’s response to the defeats are more superficial and do not radiate any real intent to change their fortunes.

“Firstly, this is not exclusive to the Congress. This happens in every party, including the BJP and the Left. However, if Congress really wants to overhaul itself, merely changing the leadership is not the answer.

Firstly, they should get to the root of what went wrong for them. After that, they should go for what I call an external political audit,” Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, political analyst and author of Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times, said.

He was also of the opinion that if the party could get someone like Lt-Gen D S Hooda to formulate its strategy on national security, the same must be done with all aspects of the party. 

The Congress has mostly booted out state unit chiefs after Assembly election losses. For instance, after the 2013 drubbing in Rajasthan, the chief was replaced with Young Turk Sachin Pilot. 

Prof. Aditya Nigam of the Centre for Studies on Developing Societies slightly differs from Mukhopadhyay. “People like Digvijaya (Singh) and Kamal Nath cannot be the faces of the party. They need more ground level workers if they really intend to rejig the party. Merely changing the top brass in the states will not help them win polls,” he said.

Pretense of change

  • Sonia and Rahul offered to resign after the 2014 debacle but the CWC even refused to discuss the proposal.
  • Sachin Pilot appointed Rajasthan Congress chief after 2013 Assembly election rout. Entire RPCC was revamped.
  • After 2014 drubbing in UP, when Congress won two seats, UPPCC was dissolved and new faces were brought in After 2014 polls, the original core team was replaced with Rahul’s aides like Madhusudan Mistry, Bhanwar Jitendra Singh, Jitin Prasada, RPN Singh and Deepender Hooda.
  • Jharkhand Cong chief was replaced after the party drew a blank in 2014 polls.
  • Ahead of 2019 polls, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam was replaced with Milind Deora. The Congress drew a blank in all the six seats of Mumbai.
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