Another 2 states gone; we may soon see a party called Congress (Residuary)

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Results of the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand have been another shattering experience for the Congress.

The party was trailing in both states where it was jointly in power in the previous term.

After the big losses in a number of states and the Lok Sabha election since December 2013, the results in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand mean the Congress remains in power in just one big state, namely, Karnataka, a few small states in the north like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and the northeast and jointly in Kerala.

Losses again: Congress's agony continues

[Follow J&K, Jharkhand assembly election results LIVE]

[The year 2014 has seen the biggest fall of the Congress in Indian politics]

Time running out for Congress or has it already run out?

So is time running out fast for the Congress? The party has not only lost in Rajasthan, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and now in J&K and Jharkhand, it has been relegated to the third or fourth position in many of these states, virtually dashing all hopes of making any quick recovery.

The Gandhis have begun making guest appearances now, may be out of frustration

But is there no end to the grand-old party's constant slide over the last one year? Are the Gandhis an exhausted force to be able to revive the party in states where it has been a force to reckon since independence?

Have the Gandhis hidden themselves now?

The series of losses has almost pushed the Gandhis into oblivion. They tried to win some sympathy back by promising a complete overhauling a party after the losses in four states in December last year.

But after the party failed to deliver in the subsequent elections held this year, including the general one in April and May, the top two leaders have disappeared from the public excepting some guest appearances that they make in the Parliament or outside to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party.

Rahul Gandhi a bits-and-pieces player now

Rahul Gandhi is seen nowadays making late visits to areas affected by natural or human tragedies like in Vishakhapatnam or Bilaspur and also making emotional statements to show his solidarity for the poor.

But those have been mostly moves by an amateur who has given up all electoral hopes.

For an ageing Sonia Gandhi too, pulling the Congress out of the ruins is perhaps too much of an ask.

How much prepared is the party prepared for the next set of elections starting in 2015?

The Congress, which is looking increasingly rudderless, may see its inner rifts widening ahead of the next elections.

Elections are due in Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu (where already the party has been rattled more by the resignation of a former Union minister), Assam, Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in the next two years and the weakening authority at the helm could see the regional leadership of the party in these states turning more restless and trying to assert their will.

It will only lead to further cracks in its ranks.

The Congress needs a divine intervention now to regather its steam. Or soon we might see a new version of the party named Congress (Residuary).

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