Losing steam

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/15/2019 11:36:23 AM IST

 In a hard fought football match, the team which was trailing but able to equalise and eventually score the decisive goal wins the game. This can be likened to the ongoing election battle between the disparate opposition parties versus the NDA. After the initial expectations for a national anti-NDA alliance, the opposition parties, particularly the Congress, misread the janata anger to mean that they have scored and thus, concluded that BJP-led NDA is defeated. In the first three rounds, the opposition parties concluded that there was an anti incumbency wave against Modi and begun to talk about formation of a grand post-poll coalition government. Indeed, as per the initial barometric readings the NDA partners were lagging behind the opposition. However, the opposition failed to sustain the fight against a determined and aggressive Modi. With the last and seven-phase of polling to be held on May 19, the opposition parties will have to re-calibrate their readings when it now appears that Modi may have evened the score in the fourth and sixth phase and likely to score decisively in the concluding phases. The Congress has been talking about putting up a good fight. However, in reality, the party has failed to deliver because of poor strategy and messing up with the messaging. Being the other national party with all-India presence, the Congress will realise that the basis of its initial euphoria was based on people’s expectations of a national alliance of anti-NDA parties. However, when Congress failed to stitch up an alliance with regional parties, it should have reviewed its calculations. Unfortunately, the Congress did not and went way off course in gauging the mood of the nation. It is alright to expect people’s anger against joblessness, agrarian crisis and demonetisation but it is another thing to convince people that the party responsible has to go. It was also all the more necessary for the Congress to convince the electorate about the solution to these problems as contained in its poll manifesto. In this regard, the Congress has been disappointing and this failed to enthuse voters. This would have been possible had either Jyotiraditya Scindia and Priyanka Vadra led the campaign. They are considered to be better communicators with ability to grasp subjects. No doubt Rahul had courageously taken on Modi singularly over the Rafale deal but his repeated inference on ‘chowkidar chor hai’ became boring and even got him into trouble with the Supreme Court. Try as he might, Rahul seems to be lacking oratorical skills to inspire. Despite being a three-time MP, Rahul has been too slow in learning the ropes and appears a reluctant politician. Rahul does not take prompt decisions but rather depends heavily on his team of advisers. Even in the selection of candidates, he goes by consensus since he has no intimate knowledge about the grass root. In the ongoing election campaign Rahul has been overshadowed by his sister Priyanka who is more charismatic and able to connect with her simple and clear messages. Major regional parties like TMC, TRS, TDP, BJD and even RJD are not too keen on Rahul’s leadership but are not averse to Congress support. This is the biggest takeaway and also the fact that Congress party organisation is almost invalid in most states. It will do well for the Congress to take this as a lesson if it wants to remain relevant.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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