Last Saturday i.e. on 11th March, news channels flashed on our television screens showed the huge emanation of the Bharatiya Janata Party. By winning four out the five states that went to polls this year, the BJP conquered 17 states along with its power at the Centre. But what about the 131 years old Congress? Yes it has won Punjab, but is that enough for a party which was at one period of time ruling over the whole nation?
For decades after formal independence in 1947, Congress completely dominated the Indian political stage at the national and state levels. Until it was ousted in 1977 for the first time by Janata Dal, the party had held office continuously at the national level with the exception of two three-year terms. Today, the party is shadow of its former self. Its claims to stand for the interests of the masses are in tatters and its bases of support are rapidly dwindling. One sign of Congress’s decline is that the party has been compelled to turn to a series of electoral alliances with regionally based parties. The rise of these parties in the 1990s, which whip up local prejudices on the basis of language, ethnicity and caste, is another reflection of the widespread alienation from the major parties. In previous elections, Congress eschewed electoral pacts, believing such arrangements were not necessary and undermined its national image.
It was the year 2014 when the Congress was haphazardly torn down by the BJP or we can say by the Modi wave. The Congress of 1951 and 1957 under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, captured more than 45% vote share in the Lok Sabha, and the Congress of 1984 under the leadership of Indira Gandhi won 415 seats of the total 543 of Lok Sabha which is an unbroken record till date. But unfortunately and shockingly the Congress has now been brought down to 44 seats, which was the worst tally of the Congress history.
In addition to the above mentioned reason for the decline of the Congress, now I would like to mention one more reason, and I think this one is more critical and serious, is about efficiency and effectiveness of the pilot and the co-pilot flying the airplane of the Congress. We can very clearly assume Rahul Gandhi as the de facto president of the Congress but many people specially politicians question over his political abilities.
So what we are witnessing is a retrospective throwback towards the Indian politics of the 1950s-60s i.e. the return of “one party rule”. In the Jawaharlal Nehru and early Indira Gandhi years we saw one party politics of the Congress, ruling at the states as well as at the Centre.
The question remains is that; are we again heading towards one party rule but this time with the BJP? Is Narendra Modi on his way of becoming the next Jawaharlal Nehru?