YEARENDER: 2014 - Annus horribilis for Congress

YEARENDER: 2014 - Annus horribilis for Congress - Sakshi Post

2014 is one year that the Indian National Congress would like to quickly forget. This year the party had fallen from commanding heights of power to the lowest depths of defeat.

* In 2014, the Congress failed to secure even the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha with its tally down to just 44 in a House of 543. As if this was not enough, the Opposition space too turned competitive. While it was denied the LoP status in Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress, BJD and SP tried to form a triumvirate group seeking the post as an alliance in place of Congress.

* The slump was dramatic. It had won 206 seats in 2009. But, it now has a mere 44. It had failed to secure a single Lok Sabha seat in some 10 states and just two seats each in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar.

* Questions were raised about the efficacy of Rahul Gandhi's leadership after successive defeats. Despite being in active politics since 2004 and his projection of being a youth icon, Rahul never gave the impression of a willing politician focused on winning elections for the party. His NGO style functioning came in for muted criticism many times. Ailing Sonia Gandhi couldn't step in to salvage the party.

* The year also saw Sonia and Rahul offering to resign owning defeat for Congress' Lok Sabha debacle. Soon after the results were announced, both of them made an offer to resign at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee, which was, on expected lines, rejected overwhelmingly with the party reiterating its belief in their leadership.

* Its defeat trail did not stop at the Lok Sabha elections. The party lost power in two states Maharashtra and Haryana in October after ruling them in alliance and alone for 15 and 10 years respectively. At the fag end of the year, the party lost power in both Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand where it participated in government in alliance with National Conference and JMM-RJD respectively.

* Added to this was the ally trouble. UPA ally NCP decided to support BJP in government formation in Maharashtra after it fought the Assembly election in Maharashtra separately from Congress breaking the 15-year- long political alliance between the two parties in the state.


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