The Congress party is face to face with its worst case scenario and there seems to be nothing left that it can lose further. This is the down in the dumps position that every political party fears and it has come true for Congress after the 2017 Assembly Elections.
After ruling the country for close to half century post Independence, the grand old party is facing its first really long string of losses while BJP is ruling the roost.
Congress needs a facelift, a new identity and almost every trick in the book to bring it out of this miserable situation. Congress needs to prove its worth again in the current political scenario, which is drastically different from what it was two score years ago, when Congress was at its peak.
It needs to become useful for the public, to re-establish the bond between the people and its representative political party. And truth be told, a political party is as important for the voters as the voters are for a political party.
All this is a gigantic task that will not be done in a day or two. Building a new political party from scratch is a big enough task, that takes years to win the trust of voters. Rebuilding a fallen party, picking up its pieces from the dust of losses, is yet a bigger task that faces far more hurdles. Before teaching the voters to trust, this old and broken party needs to help voters unlearn the ills that has been its downfall in the first place. Only after it has cleaned the dirty slate laboriously, can it begin to build the pieces of trust.
Congress needs people who have experience as well as the talent to build a new identity for the party. It needs dynamic members who have the potential to make voters listen to them and believe in their words. And then these members need to give the party the strength to fight and bear the onslaught of opposition that has brought it down to its knees now. It needs to think of new tricks to woo the disillusioned public.
Despite the elephantine task before the Congress, this is the only political party currently in India that has the potential to build itself back after the downfall. It is because the oldest political party of India has the network present all over India to do its task. It is the sole independent party that has its feelers all over the far corners of India and can work through its heart to understand what each locality needs and then provide them with their due.
Congress has the framework, it needs to dust it off and build over it afresh. It can fight against BJP in every state, it just needs to utilise its resources well and strategically. While most other parties are limited to one state and champion its cause, Congress has had an appeal that has crossed borders of state. And ironically, only it has that universal secular image (despite the numerous incidents of violence that took place during its reign) that is the fit image for a party that rules a wide country like India. (Editorial in Inquilab, Translated by Nabila Habib)