French political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot, an expert on India and the BJP, talks to Pranay Sharma on what a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ forebodes for India. Excerpts:
Many are predicting a complete rout of the Congress in this parliamentary election. Do you share that view?
Congress will definitely suffer a setback. But a complete rout would mean that the party would not be number two in the Lok Sabha. That is doubtful.
Even if the Congress suffers heavy defeat, will it mean that the party will find it difficult to recover and reinvent itself?
The Congress has had ups and downs indeed. It has been around 100 seats before and has reinvented itself.
In its post-independence history, the Congress has faced several crises. How different is the one that the party faces now?
The present crisis is different because the party is facing two crises simultaneously—a crisis of leadership, because the scion of a great family is not necessarily made to lead,...