Some look good only when the going is good. If the going is tough they collapse. That appears to be the UPA and Rahul Gandhi story. Faced with odds, even senior leaders have decided to desert the sinking ship. Some are refusing to contest. Others are feigning ill health for not contesting. The blame game is about to begin.
Faced with odds, Rahul Gandhi has decided to talk up the morale of his party. He claims that opinion polls are jokes and that the Congress would improve upon its 2009 tally. If this is sheer bravado in order to lift the sinking morale of the Congressman, it is understandable. However, if he genuinely believes this to be true then surely he is completely cut off from reality.
The election agenda is loaded against them. Desperate attempts to create an agenda out of well meaning concepts such as empowerment, putting systems in place etc is not working. Abstract slogans only displayed at hoardings all over the country are difficult to comprehend. The message is blurred and not clear. The voters are worried about price rise, economy and corruption. They want a leadership which is decisive and inspirational. The Congress Party and UPA are failing to set the agenda. They are at best responding to the agenda set by their opponents.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party after being pampered for almost for ten years have decided during elections to distance themselves from the Congress Party. Others are deserting them. The Trinamool Cogress, the DMK and the LJP have all deserted the Congress. No new ally is going to join them. A large chunk of the seats that UPA got in the last election came from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu the Congress is isolated with a single digit percentage votes. It barely expects to pick up any seat. In Andhra Pradesh it played the Telengana Card not out of conviction but out of vote bank strategy. It has simply become a liability for its candidates in Seemandhra. In Telengana, the TRS has turned its back on the Congress.
The BJP had an option to go back on its commitment for Telengana. We refused to do so. Instead we played with a straight bat. We fulfilled our commitment to the people of Telengana and got additional economic package for Seemandhra. We can go to both the regions with our heads held high. We earned goodwill not only amongst the people but even amongst a section of the regional parties in the State. Today we have a positive prospect of our alliances in both Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
For the Congress even its leadership is proving to be unacceptable. It lacks the charisma and the appeal which is required today. At the end of the day the Congress goes into the poll without an agenda with inadequate allies and without an effective leadership. If things can go wrong they surely will go wrong.