Over the next few days, the BJP will dismiss the INDIA bloc as a factor. (File pic/PTI)
The Congress has always claimed that it’s the only party capable of putting up a one-on-one fight against the BJP. This assertion now stands discredited
Even as the Congress is nursing its wounds after facing defeat in the assembly elections of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, the opposition INDIA front has been hit by a crisis. A meeting of the alliance has been planned around December 6 to discuss seat-sharing for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. But the permutations have changed now with the smaller outfits unwilling to cede space to the grand old party. Already voices calling out the Congress have become louder.
Kunal Ghosh of the Trinamool Congress asked the Congress to learn from Mamata Banerjee. “It’s not a win of the BJP or a defeat of the INDIA front; it’s a defeat of the Congress.” The Rashtriya Janata Dal too has said that the Congress needs to get its act together and that the assembly poll results should not be seen as a reflection on the INDIA front.
The Samajwadi Party and Aam Aadmi Party are also seething. Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh polls, Congress’s CM hopeful Kamal Nath had dismissed the SP as irrelevant and refused to leave tickets for it. It’s these parties that will now make things tough for the Congress. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had even said, “Let them come to UP. They need us there and we will teach them a lesson.”
The Congress has only one MP in Uttar Pradesh now: Sonia Gandhi from Raebareli. But if it hopes to win Amethi, then it needs a friendly SP, which seems unlikely now.
The Congress has always claimed that it’s the only party capable of putting up a one-on-one fight against the BJP. This assertion now stands discredited. The INDIA front is now unwilling to give the Congress the stature of a “big brother” anymore. So when the seat-sharing talks begin, the Congress may be forced to be meek.
The other problem is bigger. If the Congress had won these elections, it would have created a buzz around the alliance and made it look like a relevant and possibly formidable alternative to the Bharatiya Janata Party. But now it’s the BJP which seems emboldened. Over the next few days, the BJP will dismiss the INDIA bloc as a factor. In fact, Jyotiraditya Scindia told News 18 that “not only does it (the poll results) silence all those who have been attacking us but also that the INDIA front is no factor”.
The results and drubbing of the Congress will invigorate the regional parties. And once again, the Congress will have to play along. The future doesn’t look too bright for the alliance.