New Delhi: On February 9, on the occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti, Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East) Priyanka Gandhi was in Varanasi. It was just a day after Delhi — Congress’s one of the strongest turfs — went to the polls and the exit polls made Congress a diminutive shadow of its former self. In 2015, Congress didn’t win a seat in Delhi. If exit polls are to be believed, then the situation won’t change much in 2020 either.
It’s not a matter of 12 years. Congress base started eroding long before 2013 as in 2013, Congress managed to win only eight seats, while in 2008, Congress won 43 seats out of 70. In 2008, BJP won 23 and Aam Aadmi Party was nowhere in the picture. In 2013, BJP emerged as the majority with 31 votes, while AAP won 28 votes and got Congress support. From 43 to eight to zero, there has been a sharp and steady decline of the Congress in New Delhi.
But is Congress not trying enough? There was no CM face for its Assembly election 2020. There was no strong Delhi-based leadership. There were no startling promises in the manifesto. Even a few weeks before the election, Ajay Maken flew to the United States for personal reasons, which sent tongues wagging about how the party is fighting the election not for the first or second positions, but for the third one.
“We fought this election with all our strength. In this election, BJP put forth all the communal agendas and Arvind Kejriwalji put forth developmental agendas. If Kejriwal wins, then it will be a victory of the developmental agendas,” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
So, what’s next?
On tie-up, Delhi Congress in-charge, PC Chacko, said, “It depends on the results. Once results are out then only we can discuss it; I think the surveys are not correct. Congress is likely to do better than what surveys predict.” But will AAP need Congress’s support is the big question in front of the Congress.