AAP win shows core values of Congress are still saleable | comment | Hindustan Times
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AAP win shows core values of Congress are still saleable

The spectacular victory of AAP should be a matter of encouragement to the Congress since the people have embraced many things the party had espoused for decades. It need not change its basic principles.

comment Updated: Feb 11, 2015 22:37 IST

The Aam Aadmi Party’s success and the BJP’s dismal showing in the Delhi elections have surprised all. But hardly any eyebrows were raised when the Congress scored a duck. One consistent feature of the assembly elections held since last May has been the steady decline of the Congress with no sign of revival anywhere. Even before Delhi went to the polls, there were doubts whether the Congress should have put up candidates at all since the defeat of the party was a foregone conclusion.

Viewed from another angle, the spectacular victory of AAP should be a matter of encouragement to the Congress since the people have embraced many things the party had espoused for decades. It need not change its basic principles. After all it can claim to be the original aam aadmi party because it is the Congress that had coined the slogan “Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath” which helped the party win two terms. Contrary to what opponents say, secularism is still a very strong point with the party. Delhi’s elections have proved that.

Now that Rahul Gandhi is preparing to go on the offensive from March, his party should do two things: Observe what the Centre and the BJP-governed states are doing, and rebuild the organisation. As the BJP moves towards completing a year in power, it is rolling back or reshaping some measures that the previous government introduced.

The Congress should assess their impact in rural and forested areas and aim to seize the initiative if there is an uneven alignment between the way the measures are pushed through and the way they are received. In doing so, it should strictly restrict itself to the issues and talk in language that people understand. Attacking an individual or an industrial house does little beyond exciting the chattering classes. As for Bihar that goes to the polls this year, the Congress should seek an understanding with the Janata Dal (U) and the RJD. Being in the shade for a while would not be such a bad idea for a party that has become somnolent.