The Congress party has been rejected by the people of India in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections of 2019. But the debacle in 2019 is more humiliating than the one in 2014. One psephologist-turned-politician has even said that ‘Congress must die’. Whether it dies or not is something that only time will tell us. While the people have lost interest in the Congress, the Congress and its President too seem to have lost interest in the voters and their message.
Amethi and Congress
Rahul Gandhi lost the election from Amethi in 2019. Smriti Irani too had lost the election from the same constituency five years back. But, the difference in their approaches towards voters of Amethi even after losses show how one won over people by consistent hard work and the other just treats them as people who are supposed to elect him as their feudal lord.
Source: The Economic Times
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has not yet visited Amethi even once after the results of Lok Sabha elections 2019. This is the Congress’s response to the people of the constituency which elected their First Family’s latest scion thrice and have been electing Gandhi family members for decades. According to an ET report, a Gandhi family member has never lost from Amethi since 1967 except once in 1977 during an anti-emergency wave.
Instead of addressing the people, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly sent a team to Amethi to find the reasons for losses. This feudalistic mindset of Congress party and its president is a reason enough to understand as to why people of Amethi rejected them and voted for the woman who, despite a loss in 2014, continued to serve them.
Congress’s response in Amethi is in tune with its shift from mainstream politics to fringe politics in India.
India and Congress
Rejecting the people of Amethi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi is on a three-day tour to Wayanad thanking them for electing him as member of parliament. This is a good sign when seen in isolation that he is not taking the voters of Wayanad for granted the way he did to Amethi for decades now.
Even without analyzing much into his visit, Rahul Gandhi’s one statement as quoted below reflects that he has not yet learned from his defeat and trying to deflect the reason for his and Congress’s loss from himself to PM Modi. He had reportedly said,
“At the national level we’re fighting poison. Mr Narendra Modi uses poison, I’m using a strong word but Mr Narendra Modi uses poison of hatred to divide this country. He uses anger and hatred to divide the people of this country.”
If one look at the above statement carefully, it is not difficult to realise as to who is dividing the country. He is clearly saying that the country voted for hatred, insulting the millions of voters of India.
However, who is divisive and cynical? Isn’t it the Congress who could not face the majority community of India after falsely labeling them terrorists?
Prime Minister Modi had made a point during the election campaign that Rahul Gandhi had chosen Wayanad for its demographics, unable to face the majority community after calling them ‘terrorists’. The PM had then said that Congress President chose the safest seat to contest the election because the majority (community) is in minority here.
Congress shift in strategy comes from its understanding that BJP’s coming back to power with clear majority shows that Congress is no longer a party that once used to capture the central space among the voters. BJP has now captured that central slot. And, voters irrespective of caste, creed and religion are overwhelmingly supporting the party and PM Modi. Congress, on the other hand, is garnering votes based on divisive and hateful rhetoric, as well as reduced itself to vote-cutters, as Priyanka Vadra said.
Therefore, Congress now appears to be on a path to become a fringe party.