This election, even though Congress had not put up any prime ministerial candidate, was evidently one in which the voters at large had the choice of deciding between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, a contest which eventually turned out to be no contest at all, with Narendra Modi having outplayed and outsmarted Rahul Gandhi in every respect.
Even though the Congress leaders could be seen blaming the UPA government for having failed to properly showcase the achievements of the Government ( if at all there were any) as the sole reason for the ensuing poll debacle, one cannot simply wish away the onus from Rahul Gandhi.
It has been Rahul Gandhi who was the brand ambassador in all Congress advertisements and promotions. However, this trend to make sure that Rahul Gandhi remains unscathed and shielded from all kinds of criticisms is itself a legacy associated with Congress and is a reflection of the shape of things to come.
Quiet Farewell of Manmohan
The other interesting indication of Congress having already conceded defeat is reflected in the manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh quietly bid adieu to the Prime Minister's Office and was given a farewell by the staff of the office.
Technically, Manmohan Singh continues to be still the Prime Minister until the next Government is sworn in. Had Congress been confident of returning to power, Manmohan Singh would not have opted for a farewell even before the election results are out. Even if he had not opted for the third term, he would have still not taken a farewell the way he took, had there been even an iota of possibility of Congress returning to power.
The Haste in Appointing the next Army Chief
This apart, the alacrity and the urgency shown by the UPA Government in deciding the next military chief, is also a reflection of their resignation to the fate. The decision of the UPA Government to anoint Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag as the new Army Chief, even though it got the clearance from the Election Commission, did raise many an eyebrow.
The issue here is not at all about the integrity and the ability of the Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhaag as the next chief of Indian Army but the issue at stake is that of propriety on the part of a Government which is about to demit office, to take such a critical decision, which ideally should have been left for the next Government to take.
The post of the Army Chief is not like any other bureaucratic post whose incumbent entity can be replaced at will by the Government. Therefore while it is highly unlikely that the next Government would tamper with this appointment, it at the same time becomes very critical that the Army Chief enjoys the confidence of the Government and for that, the decision should have ideally been left to the next Government to take.
Nevertheless, had UPA been confident of returning to power, it would not have shown such alacrity in choosing the next Chief of Indian Army and would have waited for the next term to start for taking this decision.
Similar haste was also shown in the appointment of the judge for investigating the Snoopgate controversy in which the UPA had decided to appoint a judge as the head of the commission before 16thof May, i.e. the day the results of the election were to be out, only to however go for an embarrassing and hasty retreat on it after the idea did not get the requisite support from UPA allies.
All these are tell-tale signs of resignation of Congress to the ensuing fate accompli. Where Congress heads from here and whether it gathers enough courage to bring radical changes in the party or continue with the usual structure would be an interesting thing to watch.
But perhaps one small lesson that Congress should ideally learn from this election is that waving hands to voters by scions just before election is no more going to fetch votes. India and Indians now want serious governance and is no more interested in reposing faith in those who still prefer to bask in ancestral glory. Nostalgic India is more futuristic now.