ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Decline of the Congress Party in Indian Politics

 From being the single dominant party in India to its pathetic performance in the recently held assembly elections in five states, the Congress party has been on a steady downhill journey. This article looks at its trajectory post independence and especially in the aftermath of the 2014 general election.  

 The 2014 general election dealt the Congress an electoral punch that  knocked the wind out of its sails. It also threw up a leader in Narendra Modi that was reminiscent of Indira Gandhi with a larger than life image and that resulted in a tectonic shift of political equilibrium in Delhi from the middle of the centre ideological pinning of the Congress to the right wing brand of politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which rolled out a new political discourse promising to usher in a new India free from the Congress.   

In the aftermath of these elections, journalistic and academic narratives focussing on the decline of the Congress party in the countrys political arena abounded and red flags were raised within the party circles to arrest its terminal downslide and save it from being marginalised. The party went into a huddle but internal dissensions and lack of visionary strategies failed to revive its electoral fortunes. It lost the state elections held in 2015-2016 in quick succession and conceded the remaining political space to the BJP which was on a roll. The recent assembly elections held in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa in March were a kind of a referendum on demonetisation undertaken by Modi and a midterm appraisal of the BJP government. The issue of demonetisation created a sharp political divide and provided the Congress the much needed opportunity not only in stopping the saffron juggernaut but also in reversing its losing streak and making a political u-turn.  

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Published On : 23rd Feb, 2024

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