But the debacle which the Congress is very much likely to face as a result of the crisis of candidate selection is ironically a positive for the party in the long run. How?
A devastating loss and shake-up will see Cong getting rid of unwanted elements
It will vindicate party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's initiative for internal democratisation in the party. The Congress ideally should have no focus on the Lok Sabha election of 2014. It is not going to be its election, unlike what happened in 2004 and 2009. But this experience will help Rahul Gandhi to lead the party on his way of reforms.
A loss can put the Congress on the right track
The Congress, which was once known for its strong decentralised character, was reduced to a family business since the days of Indira Gandhi. It was propelled all these years by a centralised powerhouse. But today, when that powerhouse looks weaker in comparison to what it was in the 1970s and 1980s, the Congress faces a serious problem of leadership. Its grassroot leadership has been destroyed and now with the ageing top brass also looking a shadow of the past, there is a serious question over its future.
A loss will mean Rahul Gandhi will have his way out from now on
In this situation, only Rahul Gandhi's initiative of internal reforms can save the party. The Congress has no other option now apart from fielding discredited people as its candidates for it is seriously handicapped. But a devastating loss in the upcoming polls will be a blessing in disguise for the party for it will pen the obituary of the tainted lot, hence creating a vacuum in the party. It can only be filled up by a revolution of sort in the party's organisation from there on. It will also mean that whatever obstacles the Congress vice-president is facing while trying to implement his reforms, will be swept away.
A bottom-strong Congress in 2019 will be Rahul Gandhi's biggest legacy
In 2019, if we see the grand-old party fielding 543 candidates elected from the primaries held at the grassroots, then it will indeed be a historic turnaround for the party and a victory for Rahul Gandhi.