Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Can Congress Crack The 2014 Litmus Test?

The general elections are just five months away. So is this time enough for the Congress to catch up with the campaign kick started by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi way ahead in July 2013. So has the Congress already conceded its defeat?

Though the opposition would like to believe that a few recent decisions hint that Congress is ready to fight it out and not play opossum. The party’s decision to kick start its election campaign may seem as an afterthought. The general opinion is that even it would have started its election campaign along the same timeline of that of BJP, environment and aura around congress and UPA government was not synergic enough to give its 2014 ambitions some momentum among its electorate. The irregularities and corruption discourse was enough to nullify its achievements in developmental growth and social security.

Getting ahead with a more intensive campaign just five months ahead means immediate recall value. It is an apt time as the budget 2014 will be crafted keeping in mind the elections and is the last bid to bounce back in the game.  Hence what the government has to offer if brought back to power can be a major highlight of Congress’ election campaign.

But will this be enough. There are few things that the Congress must pay attention to if wants to make it for a third term at the Centre. First is to put up a face as Congress’ prime ministerial candidate. There is no one leader who has emerged from the party till now who can take charge and turn things for the party. The mandate can be turned to its favour but in a scenario where the voter does not know who is voting for, it is equivalent to questioning voter’s power of choice.

It has to shed the ‘it’s all within the family’ image. Law of the land should be same for all within the party whether they are within the family or not. The third is to take a firm stand on corruption and form a zero tolerance policy against it. AAP has benefited maximum from Congress’s soft stance on corruption, while BJP is also cashing in on the same.

Firm up the party factions and alliances so that party can hold a unified outlook this election season. If Congress takes care of these factors it has some chance to get back into the game.
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