India: Can Congress party under Rahul Gandhi defeat Modi?


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India’s essential opposition party, the Indian National Congress, has stepped up its attack on High Minister Narendra Modi sooner than fashioned elections subsequent year, alleging the manager has did no longer follow it its promise of checking corruption and growing jobs.

On the party’s 84th plenary session that ended on Sunday, the Congress party chief Palaniappan Chidambaram said the nation desired to be « rescued from the hands of incompetent economic managers ».

The Congress party has blamed Modi executive for the mismanagement of the economic system with polices corresponding to demonetisation – that sucked out extra than Eighty p.c of India’s currency a year within the past, stalling India’s spectacular economic grunt.

A Goods and Products and services Tax (GST) launched final year with principal fanfare has drawn resentment from the alternate crew – aged supporters of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Procure together (BJP).

Since Modi grew to alter into high minister in 2014, Congress party’s affect has shriveled dramatically. The party is now in vitality in precisely four of India’s 29 states. The BJP guidelines in 21 states.

Rahul Gandhi, a Gandhi family scion, took over the reins of the party in December from his mom, Sonia Gandhi, who became at the helm for 19 years.

‘Fear is being generated’

Analysts philosophize the 133-year-ragged party is being energised under Rahul, who launched a scathing attack on Modi at the three-day plenary.

« Fear is being generated all over the nation. Dalits are being beaten up, one crew is being made to fight with one more. Minorities are feeling threatened, » Gandhi said at the plenary relating to rising attacks in opposition to Muslims and decrease caste Hindus.

Congress party, which ruled India for lots of the seven a long time after independence from British colonial rule, has seized on the defeat of Modi’s party within the new parliamentary by-elections.

Will Rahul be ready revive the fortunes of the Congress party and defeat Modi within the following national election slated to be held in early 2019?

Al Jazeera spoke to lecturers and experts to compile an answer.

Prabhat Patnaik, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Contemporary Delhi  

In all places India there is an upsurge of protests by the subaltern courses. The peasants’ lengthy march in Maharashtra advise and the by-election ends in Uttar Pradesh advise are manifestations.

Right here is as a result of neo-liberal economic policies have faith brought tall hardships for the petty manufacturing economic system, including agriculture.

The Congress has nothing to give the subaltern courses via a special economic policy. And even its fresh [plenary] session did no longer have faith the relaxation to issue on this.

It can most definitely just peaceful triumph electorally in states where it’s far the one real opposition to the BJP, however it wouldn’t emerge as a national pressure till it will give an more than a couple of vision to the subaltern courses.

The Congress lacks the flexibility to alternate the discourse altogether from what the BJP has been projecting, to focal level, as an instance, on of us’s economic hardships, as a result of it has no more than a couple of economic agenda to give to the subaltern courses.

Rasheed Kidwai, journalist and biographer of Sonia Gandhi  

The Congress is offering itself as a viable national more than a couple of. In Congress’ overview, Modi-led BJP in 2014 thrived on hope, guarantees of acceleration of the economic system, jobs for childhood and fine dealing with of fright complications linked to [neighbouring] Pakistan.

The Congress now desires to impart voters that the nation turned from defective to worse ensuing from demonetisation; crony capitalism is on the upward thrust, jobs for childhood are on the decline and farming sector is in hurt, and farmers suicide has change into a stark truth. And in spite of tricky words and deterioration of diplomatic ties with Pakistan, infantrymen and civilians are demise in higher numbers on the India-Pakistan border areas of Kashmir.

Rahul, as the new chief of the Congress, is attempting to sideline the ragged guard and produce within the childhood. Right here is less complicated said than finished. The astronomical ragged party is rather allergic to alternate. And Rahul does no longer favor to upset intra-party vitality equations till 2019 fashioned elections.

Critically, his mom and ancient Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has had a rethink over her voluntary retirement notion. Both mom and son right now are working in tandem to work out a huge-based anti-Modi coalition of over 20 political events.

Suhas Palshikar, political analyst  

There has been worthy disenchantment in opposition to the BJP executive, and the opposition Congress can surely have faith the abet of that. On the opposite hand, to this level, there is never any clear flip in direction of the Congress among voters nor are there indicators of the Congress ‘winning back’ any particular social constituency.

The sizzling statement of Sonia Gandhi relating to anti-Hindu image of Congress party is moral to the extent that the BJP did manage to intimate to moderate Hindu voters that the Congress is disinterested in them as Hindus [who form over 80 percent of the population]. Easy the map in which to address right here’s a key topic for the Congress.

It will be a tough task intimating to Hindu voters that the party is never any longer ‘anti-Hindu’.

Symbolic gestures place topic on this regard however the party appears clueless what symbolism to make utilize of and straight forward the map in which to reconcile its avowed make stronger to range and its efforts to appear handsome to all non secular communities.

I’d single out these as a pair of of the key political mess ups of the Congress executive – chaotic governance, failure to look at corruption in high locations and failure to withhold clear image via public family members.

This day, in opposition, the Congress’ essential failure is an absence of exquisite policy imagination.

Ashok Swain, Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden  

The BJP has continuously tried to mission the Congress as an anti-Hindu party. It did change into moderately a success on this agenda after Sonia Gandhi took over the reins of the party.

On the opposite hand, Rahul Gandhi after turning into Congress President is attempting to alternate that perception.

For the BJP, it’s now sophisticated to mission Rahul Gandhi as anti-Hindu because it conventional to place without problems to Sonia Gandhi ensuing from her Italian foundation.

I place no longer gaze the Congress going away from its secular direction because it has to give an alternative choice to BJP’s Hindutva (a Hindu supremacist ideology) and no longer be its B crew.

The Congress-led alliance executive from 2004-2014 had taken key choices to promote inclusive grunt approach. Since 2004, a series of legislation related to social and economic rights had been taken up – the Correct to Knowledge Act, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Forest Rights Act, the National Meals Security Act and the Correct to Magnificent Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition.

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