Weakened and bruised by the successive defeats in major elections and coupled with migration of its leaders and workers to other parties, the Grand Old Party of India (Congress) is fighting a battle for its political existence in Maharashtra in general and Vidarbha in particular. Congress, which was ruling the State since past 15 years, has yet to come to the terms and scratching its head as to what went wrong. To sense the nerves of people and its strength as well, the party is hitting the streets on one issue or the other. And the reality downed as no leaders worth gave credence to the agitations forget the support of people.
Ironically, the die-hard workers of the party conspicuously stayed away from the agitations. Only a few show up their faces out of compulsion rather than impulsion. Several office-bearers and so-called bigwig leaders turn cold shoulders to “no sense agitations” and pass the time on deliberations of no significance. One of the office-bearers of City Congress, during a press conference addressed by MPCC chief, had vented desperation by saying that the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are not being held in near future. The Lok Sabha poll is 4 years away and for the Assembly elections the party has to wait for more than 4 years. Moreover the Nagpur Municipal Corporation elections will be held not earlier than two years. “So, there is no point in wasting energy,” moaned the office-bearer. The picture is same in almost all Congressmen’s minds.
At present, the 130-year old party is fighting for political existence in the State and to prove that the Grand Old Party will not turn into a ‘signboard’ as is being claimed by rival political parties. The Congress lost its pre-eminent position on the Maharashtra stage after it was humbled in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll by the BJP. People became disenchanted with the party which was driven by dissension and squabbling.
A major chunk of the anti-Congress votes was garnered by the BJP-Shiv Sena which became the ruling party.
Its strength was reduced to such an extent that it ceased to exist politically in Vidarbha and managed to retain its position in Western Maharashtra.
– Rajeev ranjan kushwaha (rajeev.nagpurto