The condition of Congress is two and a half years long. For three days, the top leaders of the party contemplated in Udaipur. Many years before this, the need for such thinking was being told. So, it can be said that after many years of waiting and preparation, this camp was organized, which was named as Nav Sankalp Shivir. But the question is, what has changed or what will change in the Congress after three days of contemplation? Doesn’t it look like all this exercise was just a gimmick for optics, which has no real meaning? All that the Congress did in three days, it talked about adopting some good things of different parties and public institutions i.e. good practices. There is nothing new or original in this. One family one ticket or cooling off period for leaders or party organization and ticket distribution including reservation for weaker and disadvantaged sections is nothing which is new.
Before this contemplation camp, nothing was done about the things which were being discussed the most. The leaders of the G-23, a group of disgruntled Congress leaders, had suggested the revival of the Parliamentary Board. Apart from this, he had also suggested elections for important posts from the working committee to the party organization and allied organizations. There was discussion about reviving the Parliamentary Board but the leaders loyal to the family did not allow this proposal to be approved. Think, is it any sense to not accept it just because it has been suggested by some disgruntled politicians? It would have had a greater impact if the announcement of the formation of a parliamentary board and the election of half of the members of the parliamentary board and working committee had been made, compared to some of the decisions made by the Congress out of show. But since the party doesn’t really have to make any changes, but maintain the status quo, it has not allowed any initiative to bring about a real change.
Party leaders from above raised their heads about the Electronic Voting Machine and a big leader, who has been a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and has been the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said that if the party comes to power, it will stop the election through EVMs and vote through ballot. Think, if the party feels that the EVMs are hacked and BJP is winning the election from that, then the first question is, how will the Congress come to power? When BJP continues to win elections by hacking EVMs, it is obvious that Congress or other parties will never be able to come to power, then what is the point of banning EVMs and holding elections through ballot? In fact, it has also been asked for show. The party is trying to send a message to its frustrated workers that it is not losing the elections because of its organizational or ideological weaknesses, but because of EVMs. But it doesn’t look like this trick will be of any use.
After three days of contemplation, as the biggest decision, it is being publicized that Rahul Gandhi will undertake a padyatra across the country. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi announced this padyatra and said that in October the entire party would be on the road. A padyatra has been announced from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. From Mahatma Gandhi to Chandrashekhar, many leaders did a padyatra and tried to understand the country. But this is not an election winning formula. Chandrashekhar did Bharat Ekta Yatra, no one strengthened his party’s organization and Narendra Modi-Amit Shah did not need any padyatra to strengthen his party’s organization. Take a padyatra or travel by train, but at the same time, try to strengthen the party organization and give a new ideological base to the party. Remember, after losing the Lok Sabha elections in 1989, Rajiv Gandhi traveled a large part of the country by train. But the Congress did not benefit from that visit. Politics had changed in the whole of North India since Mandal and Kamandal that in 1991 elections in the states of North India Congress did not get any benefit from that visit. The Congress benefited in the southern states, but because of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in Sriperembudur, Tamil Nadu, before voting in those areas. Nevertheless, the idea of a walk is a good one. But along with this, the party will have to do many more things. It is a good thing that Rahul Gandhi has accepted that the Congress has lost its connection with the people. But Congress does not have any roadmap to reconnect the connection. It is the goodwill of the Congress that the padyatra will connect that connection, but it is not easy to do so.
Most importantly, there is no news of any discussion on the electoral defeat in the three-day Chintan Shivir. Congress has lost badly in five states just two months back. Assembly elections were held in 17 states since the last Lok Sabha elections i.e. 2019 and the party has lost in every state apart from increasing seats in a few states. The party did not reflect on this continuous defeat. In Uttar Pradesh, the party had contested the elections in the name of Priyanka Gandhi and despite contesting on about 400 seats, it got less than 2.5 per cent votes. In more than three hundred seats, the party’s candidates have got two-two, three-three thousand votes. This should have been discussed in the most detail in the Chintan Shivir being held soon after such a defeat. Apart from the electoral defeat, the Congress should also have discussed that what is the reason, which the leaders of the party are leaving together? It is not enough to say that everyone is scared of central agencies or that everyone is greedy. There will be some lack of party and leadership too! In the last two-three years, the Congress government fell in two big states. Even the party should have thought about why this is happening. In fact the party is not serious about recognizing the real disease. She is somehow wasting time and is waiting for her time to come. But now politics has changed a lot. Now the time will not come on its own. Therefore, the Congress will have to play the role of the opposition firmly, leaving the wait for power. She will become a strong opposition, only then will the possibility of power arise.