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Defeat is an orphan: How Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost the Lok Sabha election 2019 plot

This is a difficult hour for thousands of Congress party workers as PM Modi-led BJP has stormed to power decimating the Grand old Party in almost majority of India in elections 2019. Modi’s style, charisma and development pitch just uprooted all caste arithmetic as many Congress and Opposition leaders faced humiliating defeat. Rahul Gandhi’s defeat in Amethi is nothing but the last nail in an already bleeding party. For the party to regroup and rise, it needs to realise and accept the mistakes. Brand Modi has literally shattered all caste arithmetic and dynasty blocs.

Himanshu Shekhar Himanshu Shekhar @himaanshus
New Delhi Updated on: May 23, 2019 23:26 IST

Victory has many fathers but defeat is an orphan, the famous quote of fascist Italy's foreign minister Count Galeazzo Ciano in the early twentieth century has been quoted by world leaders on and off. It was John F Kennedy who popularised it in his famous speech following the Bay of Pigs incident - the failed CIA operation to dethrone Fidel Castro in Cuba.  

Cut to India. The Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 is out and the country has given a decisive mandate for Narendra Modi and the BJP. There are multiple factors, you can zero in, that ensured Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar. For Team BJP, this victory has one name - Modi. For Congress Party - defeat is an orphan. 

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has conceded defeat and promised to delve into the reason later on. "This is not the time to discuss. At this moment, I would only urge Congress workers to stay together. Together we will ensure that Congress will carry the ideological fight," Rahul Gandhi said in graceful acceptance of defeat. 

But dig a bit deep and you will get few easy answers to what might have led to Congress party's massive defeat. 

'Chowkidar Chor Hai' 

While Rahul Gandhi was within his rights to question Rafale jet deal of the Modi government using jibes like "Chowkidar Chor Hai" targeted towards a Prime Minister of the country was a clear backfire. Congress party's twitter campaign made it worse. BJP's social media strategy turned the tables in their favour when Prime Minister suffixed "Chowkidar" on his twitter handle.  

Modi vs Who?

Lok Sabha Election 2019 was between two blocs - NDA vs UPA. While NDA had Narendra Modi at the forefront it was unclear who would be a joint Oppositions Prime Minister candidate. The fact that the voters, the majority of whom are in the age group 18-45 years, want to see an alternative. Conventional wisdom suggests that battles are never won without a strong leader. A leader should inspire people to dream more, do more and learn more. A leader should show the way. Congress party, in past, has been beneficiary of strong leaders like - Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi or Lal Bahadur Shastri to name some

Beyond Dynasty

No party is untouched by this. The problem just precipitates when it comes to Congress and the regional parties. Talk about Mulayam Singh Yadav in Uttar Pradesh, Lalu Yadav family in Bihar, Hooda's in Haryana or for that matter Scindia's in Gwalior. Today's voter,  would not just vote for another Yadav or Rajput candidate because his forefathers have followed that trend. Millennials today want much more than family legacy. Jyotiraditya Scindia's massive defeat in Guna is just one example. 

Pitrodas, Surjewalas and Hoodas 

Congress thinktank, if you can call it, has been one of the biggest advantages for the Modi-led NDA. India's Grand old Party definitely deserves better than people like Sam Pitroda, Randeep Singh Surjewala or the Hoodas. How else you explain that the party chose to pick Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan and Kamal Nath in Madhya Pradesh. A young leader would have had a connection with people. Party's alliance with Tejaswi Yadav's RJD also did not help its cause. Congress one day has to fight an election on its own in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. There can be short term success in the alliance but the party has to develop and groom a leader in these states. It will be a long-drawn process without any immediate result. Is the Congress party ready to do that? Will Rahul Gandhi do it? For now, he needs better advisors. 


Rahul Gandhi has urged the Congress workers to stay strong in this hour of defeat. Lok Sabha election results should be a lesson for the Congress party. It should not blame the target for its missed opportunities as the next few days and months will decide if they have the ability to provide this democracy -- a strong Opposition.

Also Watch: PM Modi's victory speech after election results declare a massive win for BJP

(Views expressed here are of author’s and not of IndiaTvNews.com)

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