Congress is afraid of an identity crisis for next poll is not far away
The Congress is desperate to get that status not just for formality but its long-term targets in the post-May 16 drubbing heavily depends on it. The party believes that with key elections lined up towards the later part of this year, it just can not just remain 'irrelevant' in the day-to-day business of the government. It would lead the party into further crisis.
But crying for a constitutional position and not focus on key issues won't help Congress
But the Congress misses a key point. If the party doesn't feel interested in issues that influence day-to-day lives of common people and only think about a constitutional position, then there is certainly little hope for the party to change its electoral fortunes in the upcoming assembly polls.
The Congress is a party which loves to remain obsessed with its elite and cares a little about the base of the pyramid and it is doing the same thing by expressing an earnest desire for the LoP position. But the Congress must remember that it was this obsession with the top that saw its base decimated in the latest election. The party could not win 10 seats in any of the 29 states of the Indian Union.
Congress looks to make up for its organisational loss with formal labels
However, having said that, the Congress starts and ends with the Gandhis today, psychologically throughout the nation and physically in a key state in Uttar Pradesh, which will go to polls in another three years. And it is extremely challenging for the party to make its presence felt without a formal position.
It is virtually impossible for an ageing Sonia Gandhi and a clueless Rahul Gandhi to begin laying the party's groundwork from the scratch and with no second-level leadership either present to take up the baton after the May 16 debacle, the party is wondering how to survive the immediate electoral challenges.
Indira Gandhi too made a comeback in 1980: Can Congress learn from her?
If the Gandhis really had it in them, they would have felt less anxious about an uncertain future and go around making a noise about the LoP position. The Congress would have allowed Narendra Modi government to settle, talk about people's issues and wait for the government to make mistakes. It was how Indira Gandhi had returned to power after suffering a setback in 1977.
Congress will choose confrontation at this moment at its own peril
But the Congress is happy trading the wrong path yet again. One gets a feeling the party is eyeing to replicate the BJP's model of Opposition as was seen during the UPA rule but such opposition will not help the party's electoral causes for it has no leader like Narendra Modi in its ranks to overcome the deficit that the saffron party's central leadership had shown over the last few years.
The Congress can't make it by repeating what BJP did for it doesn't have a Modi
The hardliners in the Congress are pressurising the party to obstruct the government's functioning but with the Modi government showing signs of a honest effort to rectify a course correction for the nation, the idea of confrontation would not go down well with the commoners. The result? More electoral problems for the grand-old party.
Losing an election is not a threat, not learning from the mistakes is
Losing an election, even if badly, isn't a big threat. An even bigger threat evolves when a party fails to learn a lesson from its mistakes and makes it an ego issue. After ten years of a tainted rule, the Congress is in no position to deal with the BJP government from a position of strength and will harm its own chances if it doesn't adopt a stand that suits people's cause and its own interests.
The Congress should learn from the Left in West Bengal
The Congress needs to take a look at the CPI(M)-led Left in West Bengal. A woman called Mamata Banerjee has robbed them of their political space and they are now surviving each day in Indian politics. Can the Congress with a glorious past do the same?