There are no permanent friends or enemies in politics and in modern era of discontent, political romances are brewed even at the drop of a hat. Congress in last few years seems to have made forging alliance as much of a habit as was one of indulging in corruption few years back.
It had made a pre-poll alliance in West Bengal with CPI(M), joined hands with RJD and JDU in Bihar and now have come under the Samajwadi shelter in Uttar Pradesh. Tamil Nadu alliance with DMK has also survived since long even after up’s and down’s through multiple scams.
Owing to its unchecked and shameless loot of public fund and resources, Congress has been facing public ire since last few years. The party that has ruled the country for maximum period of time after independence now looks to be all set to get lost in oblivion.
However, because of short term gains and no clarity of conscience Congress has set itself on a self-destruction mode for 2019 polls.
If the alliances that it has forged in recent years persist by that time, the individual Congress party result of 2019 might make humiliating tally of 44 sets in 2014 Lok Sabha election look rewarding.
Let us face the fact; in most cases these hurried short-term pre-poll political alliances represent weakness. Nothing spells lack of confidence in one’s own party, than such hastily made pre-poll alliances with sworn enemies.
The point to be noted is that the grand old party of India, Congress is actually getting the position of junior partner in all the recent alliances it has forged in different state. In Uttar Pradesh also it is fighting election on approximately 100 assemblies only, out of total 404 seats.
So far, the coalition has helped Congress only in Bihar where its gain can be basically termed as being able to stay pertinent in the state politics. Although they got a few ministerial births in Bihar government, the long-term cost of the same is much bigger.
Owing to all these alliances Congress will face a very adverse situation at the time of 2019 polls. This is because if the current set pattern of seat sharing would be followed, Congress won’t stand a chance of making a government on its own in center. Not that there are chances of Congress doing any better in 2019 polls, with or without alliance but even then, losing without fighting wouldn’t exactly be a badge of honor for this grand old party of India.
Statistically speaking, West Bengal, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh send a total number of 201 candidates to Lok Sabha. Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats, West Bengal 42, Tamil Nadu 39 and Uttar Pradesh 80. If one goes by the illogical and embarrassing alliances made by Congress in these states, it won’t be able to fight on more than 40-50 seats in total in all these states combined.
If we talk individually about Uttar Pradesh which is often regarded as being the key decider in the formation of central government, the Congress with an SP alliance would only get to fight on approximately 20 seats. Even expecting the best of results under such circumstance a win would be as good as loss for the Congress.
In Tamil Nadu, Congress had continued to be in an alliance with DMK since more than a decade. However from 63 seats it contested in 2011 assembly polls the number came down to 41 seats in 2016. Compromise no more is a choice but a compulsion for Congress and there could be no better evidence of party’s stature all over India.
It must be recalled that in 2014 when Congress fought in much more seats, it was able to win only 8 seats in these four of above mentioned states combined. West Bengal gave 4 seats to Congress with Bihar and UP giving only 2 seats each. In Tamil Nadu Congress suffered the same fate as of BSP in UP and was unable to win even a single seat in the state.
Once the only major party in India, Congress today seems to be struggling to maintain even its relevance as opposition.
Seat sharing arrangement for 2019 polls can be the last fatal blow to the grand old party of India. If nothing major changes on the ground, Congress in coming years may become more of a regional party and could be seen begging and haggling to be made junior partners in more states, albeit in a more compromised way.