Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh – Who destroyed the Congress?

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The grand old party Congress is at wit’s end on the eve of an crucial Lok Sabha election. The Modi wave has rendered it bereft of fresh ideas. The Congress that has spent a decade in power comes across as a party that has resigned itself to its fate as far as fighting this Lok Sabha election is concerned.

The opinion polls are predicting a dangerous scenario for the Congress. Its leaders are busy putting on a false bravado before the TV cameras dismissing these opinion polls as a mere storm in a tea cup. But the fact of the matter is the Congress is scared of the upcoming election. It knows that it is going to be in for the worst ever defeat that will reduce the party’s stature considerably.

Why has the Congress fallen on such rough times? Who is to be blamed for party’s fall from grace? Why did the party not utilise its one decade in power to further consolidate its hold on power in the elections to come?

Instead of becoming invincible, why is the party on the verge of collapse on the eve of the Lok Sabha election? Why is it making tactical blunders after blunders leaving the field wide open for the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to go straight for the kill?

The Shahi Imam fiasco explains the desperation of the Congress to wrestle some last minute advantage. But what can explain the delay in announcing its candidate in Varanasi? All eyes are on Varanasi since Narendra Modi is contesting this Lok Sabha election there. A few senior Congress leaders like Digvijay Singh and Rashid Alvi have publicly expressed their desire to fight the election from Varanasi. But the party is still coy and holding its card close to its chest as far as its electoral strategy in Varanasi is concerned.

The same Congress has announced its candidate for Vadodara from where also Narendra Modi is contesting the Lok Sabha election. The Congress candidate Madhusudan Mistry for Vadodara constituency is no match for Narendra Modi. He was in the news for tearing apart Narendra Modi’s posters and has publicly voiced his demand that Pritanka Gandhi campaign for him.

The Congress knows that it faces a very hostile outcome in Narendra Modi’s backyard and Priyanka Gandhi‘s campaigning will have little effect on the electoral fortune of hapless Madhusudan Mistry.

That said, the Congress is in a dire straits across India. Its pooh-poohing with regards to the official announcement of Varanasi candidate who will take on Narendra Modi clearly shows that as far as the psychological warfare is concerned, Narendra Modi has outsmarted the Congress. This delay is increasingly becoming costly in terms of the electoral benefits on the Congress’s part.

The mother-son duo of Sonia-Rahul has obviously let down the Congress party by misreading the popular mood and failing to sense the collective anger against Manmohan Singh‘s decade old passive leadership at the Centre.

The murmurs that it is time to bring Priyanka Gandhi into the battle are becoming louder in the hours leading to the Lok Sabha election. But no matter what the Congress does, it has lost the Lok Sabha election of 2014 lock, stock and barrel. All its tactics are bound to boomerang since the comman man is really in a punishing mood this time around.