Parachute candidates, lack of communication proved detrimental in LS polls: Cong workers
New Delhi, May 23: Lack of communication with the leadership and parachute candidates were detrimental for the Congress, party workers said at its headquarters here, as Lok Sabha election trends spelt debacle for the grand old party. The mood was sombre at the Congress' Akbar Road office as trends showed that the BJP was set to return to power as it led in 292 of the 542 seats that went to polls, while the Congress trailed far behind with 50. Sitting under a tree at the headquarters, workers discussed the party's performance and the repercussions of the poll results.
Hari Babu Kaushik, a 72-year-old Congress worker from Mathura, said the lack of communication with the party leadership is the main reason that led to the defeat of the party. "I have been with the Congress even when Rahul Gandhi (party chief) and Priyanka Gandhi (general secretary) were not born. "But, I never got an opportunity to communicate with the leadership. They have 'Z plus' security. It is us on the ground who are humiliated," the retired professor said. Kaushik said candidates are brought from outside and people like him, who gave their blood and sweat for the party, are ignored.
Spreading out photographs of himself with Congress leaders, 70-year-old Anil Jaiswal sought to tell people about the "deep connection" he has with the party. "Things have changed. It is next to impossible to meet party leaders to give them our suggestions. We know the ground situation. We have been trying to convey to the party that people on the ground in Delhi have lost their connect with the party and there is a need to work on it. "Despite our efforts we cannot meet Congress leaders," he said.
Jaiswal said parachute candidates like South Delhi's Vijender Singh have no idea of the ground reality. "We have given years to the party, then why people like him are brought into the Congress. Why are we not given a chance? It is heartbreaking to see the performance of the Congress. It was a party of great leaders and see now," he said.
Confident of emerging victorious on all the seven seats in Delhi with five of its candidates breaking records in terms of leading with the highest margin ever, the BJP continued to dominate the trends while the Congress and the AAP trailed at second spot in five and two constituencies respectively. Congress worker Pankaj Mishra from Aara in Bihar, said the BJP's nationalism agenda could have been countered by the Congress by fielding ex-servicemen for the polls. "We suggested that to party members but it never reached the party leadership," he said.
Sanwar Lal Bhadu, a Congress worker from Bikaner, said the party leadership has lost its connect with its workers on the ground. "Ask us, we will tell them what needs to be worked upon but our voices never reach them. The candidates who are contested are brought from the BJP or other parties.
"We verbally bash these candidates when they are part of the BJP and suddenly, they are fielded as candidates by our party, how do we ask people to vote for them. We are humiliated and insulted," he said. Ramesh Sharma, another party worker from Charra, said, "We do not have a Modi wave, it is just our hardwork that could pay off. Congress leaders need to realise that and involve us in their decision making process". If the trends stay until final results, the BJP would have improved on its 2014 performance when it had won 282 seats on its own in the 543-member Lok Sabha. Adding the seats won by its allies, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance could win 343 seats, up from 336 in 2014.