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Indian National Conundrum: Understanding the Congress party trajectory

Published : Nov 03, 2022 10:40 IST

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Indian National Conundrum: Understanding the Congress party trajectory

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party MP Rahul Gandhi at the AICC Headquarters in New Delhi in 2019.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party MP Rahul Gandhi at the AICC Headquarters in New Delhi in 2019. | Photo Credit: PTI

India’s oldest party, which led the mass movement for Independence, is in a shambles.

India’s oldest party, which led the mass movement for Independence, which encompassed all manner of people and ideas, which once boasted a massive popular mandate, is floundering. The election of a non-family party president might indicate the start of much-needed organisational change, but it does not seem to have any answer yet to BJP’s aggressive postures and ploys. A look at the trajectory the Congress has taken since Independence.

Lost strongholds

Over the years, the Congress has irrevocably lost several prominent States, with voters shifting loyalties to either regional parties or other national parties.

Losing ground since 2014

Since 2014, the Congress has been losing the mandate in minor States too, especially in the north-eastern region. Prior to that, it had lost power in Tripura (1993), Nagaland (2003), and Goa (2012).

On the downhill road

The Congress’ electoral performance reached its pinnacle in the 1984 Lok Sabha election, but the party crashlanded in 1989 and never fully recovered from that debacle, hitting a nadir in 2014 and remaining in that position in 2019.

ALSO READ: Rise and fall of the Congress

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