This general elections Congress faced its biggest defeat by garnering only about 44 seats, which are much lower than the previous failure of 1999 where the party got only 114 seats. Some of the main issues that resulted in such defeat include corruption, negative approach of leaders and lack of leadership qualities in Rahul Gandhi.
Defeat and the Blame Game by Congress
The reaction to this defeat by Congress was also not positive and party leaders went into denial mode and blame game started. Congress created a committee to look into issues, which resulted in this defeat that was also a measure to safeguard Rahul from being blamed for this debacle party faced. This is another mistake by the Congress and it should rather let Rahul learn more about politics from senior in the party instead of going ahead with his own plans.
Rahul’s Failure to Lead the Party
Rahul was not able to impress his target audience, which were rural poor of the country. The style of functioning Rahul has was something new for rural people and they were not able to relate properly with him. Apart from that, young voters also rejected him because of his approach. In the Congress government, Rahul had hardly any role to play and did nothing to strengthen government’s position.
Role of Sonia Gandhi
Role of Sonia Gandhi as party leader has also been less that desired and she was not able to lead the party into changes according to changing national scenarios. In India reforms started back in 1991 but Congress preferred socialist strategies believing that people who live in rural areas still require preferential treatment. Such strategy worked for the party in 2004 as well as 2009 elections but this time it failed.
Main reason for this failure is party’s inability to adapt itself to while liberalization process was going on in the country. The party tried to maintain both of its liberalized as well as socialist approaches by keeping Manmohan Singh in the limelight for reforms while promoting Rahul as main initiator of party’s socialist plans. However, party failed miserably in proving itself in both the aspects due to lack of proper planning and right leadership, which can implement those plans.
As we can see Congress really lacked proper strategy and plan of action during their tenure at the center and the fact that many corruption cases started against party members meant they had little chance of succeeding in the Lok Sabha elections and that is what actually happened.