‘There was not a single road show by the central leadership’.

New Delhi: With the Congress drawing a blank in the Delhi Assembly elections with its lowest vote share ever, a blame game has started in Congress. The grand old party, which ruled Delhi for 15 years, came third in the recently held Assembly polls with a vote share of just 4%.
While 63 out of 66 Congress candidates lost their security deposits, the party is now hobbled by factional infighting and a severe organisational crisis. With the All India Congress Committee (AICC) accepting the resignation of AICC in-charge of Delhi P.C. Chacko and Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra, many party leaders are now blaming the central leadership for lack of support during the campaign.
“It was totally unexpected. We were confident of winning at least five seats. But we didn’t get the support of the AICC as we had expected. There was not a single road show by the central leadership. Rahul Gandhiji too campaigned in only four constituencies. If they had put in some effort, we might not have ended up with a zero,” a Congress source said.
However, the buzz in the Congress camp is that the AICC deliberately did not campaign aggressively to defeat the BJP—something that was evident in Congress’ half-hearted campaign and very little visibility on the ground during campaign days.
Differences in party’s central and state leadership became more visible when Sharmistha Mukharjee, president of Delhi Mahila Congress, rebuked P. Chidambaram for celebrating the defeat of the BJP in Delhi. Lashing out at Chidambaram, she tweeted, “With due respect sir, just want to know-has @INCIndia outsourced the task of defeating BJP to state parties? If not, then why r we gloating over AAP victory rather than being concerned abt our drubbing? And if ‘yes’, then we (PCCs) might as well close shop!”
Apart from a severe crunch in funds and delay in decision making at the top level, Congress candidates with whom The Sunday Guardian spoke to, alleged that the central leadership’s support for Shaheen Bagh protesters and opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) also dented the party’s prospects in the Assembly polls.
“The BJP made CAA and Shaheen Bagh the main issue in the last days of election. AAP kept a safe distance on this. Due to our party’s anti-CAA stand, it harmed us most. By opposing the CAA, we lost Hindu votes. But at the same time, the Muslim community, too, didn’t vote for us. The Muslim community instead voted to keep the BJP out of power,” said a Congress candidate on the condition of anonymity.
According to some senior Congress leaders, after the resignation of P.C. Chacko and Subhash Chopra, the party is likely to undergo a massive restructuration very soon. “There is no election for the next two-three years.
Thus, we have a lot of time for restructuring the party. We have to find out our mistakes and work on them. An organisational restructuring is a must for this,” a senior Delhi Congress leader said.