20 October, 2020

It's Do-Or-Die Battle For Congress In Upcoming Assembly Elections

‘Winnability’ is not a trait attached to the Congress too often these days. On this winter’s assembly poll results hinge the chances of a new spring.

Photograph by PTI
It's Do-Or-Die Battle For Congress In Upcoming Assembly Elections

The Indian National Congress was born four years before Nehru was born. A life history that long—edging close to 135 years, almost double of independent India’s—is bound to have been studded with mom­ents of grave existential doubt. And yet, each inflection point, to the surprise of believer and critic alike, has yielded a second life. At least till now. A set of five assembly elections may seem a trifling affair when seen against this grand canvas of death and rebirth. But the script is thinning out. The party has just 44 MPs in the Lok Sabha, a still-untested president is at the helm, and there’s a rampaging BJP to contend with. Its ruling motto—to eradicate the Congress, like it was some pre-modern disease—always looks close to fruition these days. Way before the epic showdown of summer 2019, therefore, the semi-final of 2018 may signal a kind of sudden death.

No signs of survival panic are visible, however, anywhere on the precincts of 24, Akbar Road. The Congress headquarters, ensconced in the heart of Lutyens’...



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