After facing most humiliating defeat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election, the Congress has decided to go all alone in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly by-polls, to be held on twelve seats.
While the schedule for the by-polls has not been announced yet, party general secretary Madhusudan Mistry has hinted that they will not go into an alliance with any other party for the by-polls. Mistry, who was on a two-day visit to the State, has been talking to State-level party leaders on various issues, including preparedness of the State unit for the bypolls.
The Congress's decision to sail alone in Uttar Pradesh by-poll shows the extent upto which opportunism prevails in Indian political system.
The Congress entered into an alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal in 2011 in an attempt to mark its presence in Jat dominated Western Uttar Pradesh, following which RJD chief was given charge of Civil Aviation Ministry.
The alliance fought recently concluded Lok Sabha polls together but ended up on a disastrous note. Congress managed to win only two Lok Sabha seats; Rae Bareli (Sonia Gandhi) and Amethi (Rahul Gandhi) in the State while its ally RLD, which won five seats in 2009, was not even able to open its account. By-polls will be held in Kairana, Lucknow (East), Bijnore, Thakurdwara, Noida, Saharanpur, Charkhari, Hamirpur, Nighasan, Sirathu, Balha and Rohnia, whose legislators have been elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded Lok Sabha poll. RLD at present has eight and Congress has 28 MLAs in the Assembly.
According to some senior leaders, the party wants to make its presence felt in UP Assembly by-polls riding on the initial anger among people on rising prices of essential items but history tells different angle of the story.
Congress has a long list of opportunism beginning from 1970s to till date. In 1977, the party first backed breakaway group of the Janata Party led by Charan Singh but later on toppled his Government within a month.
In 1991, Congress toppled Chandrashekhar Government after four months of outside support. In 1996, HD Deve Gowda became the Prime Minister heading a combination of 13 opposition parties under the name of United Front. But sudden decision of Congress to withdraw support from Gowda Government in March 1997 toppled the Government at the Centre. Then United Front Government headed by IK Gujaral assumed office in April 1997.
But Gujral's eight month old Government resigned after Congress had withdrawn its support. Not only this, the party over years used Central agencies like CBI and ED to run its Government by forcing Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party to back it on several occasions, important to mention here are tabling of FDI in retail and Food Security Bill in the Parliament.
Congress seems to have not learnt lesson from the recent poll drubbing, that is why it is still continuing with its legacy of political opportunism. Rather than, breaking or sealing alliance the party should concentrate on working towards the welfare of the people if it really wants to redeem its lost pride.