Is this virtually the end of the Congress system in India?
One can not rule out such conclusion. The party is such a poor shape that it may witness white wash in states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan where a two-party system is predominant. In other states like West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, the regional parties look favourites to gain immensely at the expense of the Congress. What is more worrying for the Congress is that according to a report of the Pew Research Centre, the poor, who have been a reliable support of the party since the beginning, are not trusting it much despite its populist measures like MNREGA and food security scheme. The youth are also preferring BJP and Narendra Modi more than the Congress. It is true that the Congress will always have a loyal vote-share but the crumbling organisation will fail to turn those into seats, as is being seen in Gujarat and MP.
In states where two-party systems are predominant, the Congress is in ruins
This doesn't make a rosy picture for the Congress and also poses a long-term threat to the grand-old party of India. How can it stop the flow and make a comeback?
The Gandhis can't afford to crumble for they are the Congress's only hope
The Congress is reaping today what its leader Indira Gandhi had sowed in the past. The party was reduced to a family affair at the expense of ruining its roots and its well-being essentially depended on the good health of the Gandhi family, who ruled with charisma and sentimental appeals. The Congress was weakened but yet it dragged on with the help of its powerhouse, the Gandhis.
The story of 2014 is different from 2004 or 2009
But today, the party's glorious leadership seems to have gone past its prime and with the grassroots infrastructure in the shambles, it looks a revival of the Congress is almost an impossible task. The party is trying to keep up a bold face in the media by saying that pre-poll surveys aren't important as had been proved in 2004 and 2009. But it has failed or rather ignored to take notice of the fact that in 2004, it was a negative mandate against the NDA government which had brought it to power. In 2009, the NDA was in disorder and couldn't be relied as an alternative.
This time, the story is different. This is going to be an election where positive mandate will play a big role and the Congress is unlikely to gain a share.
Rae Bareli and Amethi only matter for Congress
The entire party today has been reduced to just two seats now, i.e., Rae Bareli and Amethi and if the opposition somehow manages to topple the Gandhis from these two, then the Congress will be in serious danger. The party always banked on the Nehru-Gandhi factor for its electoral fortunes. Even in 1980, 1991 or 2004, when the Congress went to the polls not as a ruling party, its link with the Gandhi family helped it turn around the tide. This time, with both remaining Gandhis in the middle of the battlefield and no third hand in reserve (Priyanka Gandhi is still an uncertainty), the Congress is in a high-risk zone. The exit of some of its top non-Gandhi leaders has made it a more desperate situation.
Should Rahul Gandhi marry soon?
May be Rahul Gandhi should decide to marry soon after the elections get over. The Congress can't really afford a succession problem for the Gandhis can only help it to survive in the long run. For with a weak organisation on ground, it will ultimately fall back on a Gandhi to guide the party. Sonia Gandhi did it in late 1990s, but after Rahul who?