Strategy Lessons for Congress Lead Opposition Groups based on the Five State Elections Experience in India

It was a very keenly fought electoral battle in the five states just concluded with the results announced by the election commission. Many of the myths are exposed. And a few lessons are learnt by all stake holders including Congress, BSP and BJP.

It is well understood that united we stand, surely we make major gains based on the anti incumbency feelings as well as the haughty attitude of the ruling party. It is perceived by all that a near dictatorial regime is there in India for the last five years and the farming class is badly hit by many of the lopsided policies and actions of the government. Hike in the prices of fertilizers, petroleum products and the worst support price mechanism coupled with the ill effects of demonetisation made millions of farmers disillusioned with the polices of the BJP.

The moot question is whether the congress lead opposition was realistic in its approach and strategy. From general observations one can see that congress was less prudent and more self centred, when it came to local adjustments with regional parties like BSP and SP.

The Learning Curve for Congress:

1) It may spend more time in introspection than in jubilations.

2) As the farmers are fully disenchanted with the BJP, Congress to focus on it by evolving location specific workable strategies.

3) The euphoria type over confidence and the compliancy of the congress, is its major internal enemy.

4) Congress must make it as a strategy and the declared election manifesto for the ensuing general elections that it stands for Dalits and farmers as well as petty traders.

5) Another election campaign theme may be the scams and the large scale exodus of the of institutional heads under duress like RBI.

6) Congress must plan as its deliberate strategy to smooth its rough edges.

7) Congress must ask and address the emerging challenge of its relevance in the emerging economic empowerment era of India under the SDGs of the UN.

8) Congress still refuses to learn hard lessons. It is better to accept the field realities without pretensions. It must get out of its mindset of holier than thou attitude. In politics, it is high time to realise that no one is untouchable based on regional aspirations form the point of view of holistic perceptions.

9) At times the regional considerations must be the guiding principle to evolve a holistic strategy. The folly of congress leaders to offer BSP electoral adjustments only in MP and not in Rajasthan must be an eye opener for future considerations and guidance. Had there been an electoral alliance with BSP, the picture would have been different with convincing victory margins in all places .

10) Conscious strategy to be evolved to handle situations like Telengana and Meghalaya to cite a few examples. Rajasthan pre poll strategy blunders to be pre-empted with prudence and political expediency.

11) Congress to champion the mantra of give and take in relation with regional parties as they are very critical for winning elections on specific issues depending on the regional considerations.

12) Any false and pretentious impressions that congress is the big brother, must be nipped in the bud itself, if they want to return to power, with sagacity and prudence.

13) We must know that the current regime has delineated the vast majority of Indians due to its foolhardy polices and people unfriendly programmes of promises without matching actions. The notorious demonetisation, fuel prices, farmer suicides, unremunerated farm prices, total collapse of tree crop prices, introduction of GST without adequate homework, unprecedented patronage of the rich and the wealthy at the cost of the vast majority of the poor and marginalised Indians, discontent among the youth without job opportunities, lack of empowerment of women and rural petty traders, and the like must be seen as the challenges and opportunities for the congress and its allies alike.

14) Congress must go to the next general elections with people friendly agenda and farmer oriented propaganda and polices. It may be noted that even if we write off all farmer loans ,it may be much less a burden on the economy as compared to the looting done by Mr V Mallya, Choksi and N Modi the industrialist.

15) Highlight the international findings like India got only 97th rank as the best place to do business, on health front India is at 147th rank, farmer suicides we got rank one in the world, unemployment is at an explosive level. GDP plummeted from 10.3 to 6.6 percent under the present regime. Cooking gas price rose from Rs 414 to Rs 777 or 900 now. Agricultural production declined form 5.4 to 2.5 per cent over a period of four years. Dollar -Rupee exchange rate may soon touch three digits within a few months.

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