Coupled with the failure in Assam, the Kerala debacle severely dents Congress’s standing as the principal player against the Modi-led BJP
NEW DELHI: The impact of Congress’s failure to win in Kerala, allowing the Left Front to buck the “pendulum politics” of the state, threatens to be vastly disproportionate to the state’s size and the marginal space it occupies in the national political firmament.
The defeat magnifies the now-entrenched impression about Congress’s post-2019 decline. That the party could not win a state where not just history backed it to prevail but where its arch nemesis BJP is not a factor, echoes its fading appeal. Assam, on the other hand, was a tough ask for Congress post-Tarun Gogoi as it was opposite of Kerala.
Coupled with the failure in Assam, the debacle in Kerala severely dents Congress’s standing as the principal player against the Modiled BJP. When asked, party spokesman Randeep Surjewala sought to put up a brave front saying, “India can only be capably administered by a national party like Congress. Our regional leaders are good but a one-size-fits-all plan does not work in India, and only Congress has the experience and a national vision to unite the country.”
Former Union minister Ashwani Kumar said, “The chastening election results are an SOS for Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The need for demonstrable and purposive action to address the organisational and communication gaps was never more evident.”
Inside Congress, the mood was somber. “The results are very bad for Congress and good for the opposition of which we are a part,” a party veteran summed up the irony of the outcome.
Leaders said the four state and one UT results had only underscored the organisational paralysis that they have been highlighting, pointing to the leadership vacuum and groupism. Meanwhile, Surjewala said there was no change in the plan to hold internal elections for party presidency in June.