17 January, 2021

Lone Ranger Dikshit

Delhi was its saving grace. Lessons for the party: woo allies, campaign better.

T. Narayan
Lone Ranger Dikshit
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Battered in the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Congress trotted out hackneyed justifications for its brutal defeat—from 'anti-incumbency' to 'poor marketing' of its chief ministers to 'local' factors like caste and development issues. Obliquely acknowledging that the party's campaigns were poorly conceptualised, badly managed and lacked lustre, a few leaders admitted to a need for "restrategising" (or as party president Sonia Gandhi put it, "for pulling up its socks"). For Lok Sabha 2004, they admitted, the Congress needs all the friends it can get, as well as competent election managers and credible campaigners at the national level.

The defeat has driven home, at least to a section of Congressmen, the necessity of engaging potential electoral allies in a brasstacks dialogue, moving beyond its blow-hot, blow-cold flirtations. Besides, younger members of the party are looking for restructuring the party organisation, by enforcing accountability for the failures in the assembly elections. Perhaps the most significant outcome of last...
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