New Delhi: The Congress is rapidly losing its presence among the people in Delhi. The reason for its decline, party leaders say, is “groupism” in the party, where senior Congress leaders refuse to cooperate with the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee. The latest outcome of the party’s derangement was the grand old party even losing its deposit on the Rajinder Nagar bypolls.
According to party leaders, the Congress, which is at its lowest currently, failed to send a strong message to its party members by putting up a weak candidate. Prem Lata, who lost the Rajinder NagarAssembly bypolls, received a meagre 2014 votes. She was chosen by Congress senior leaders and not by the DPCC, a party leader said.
The party leaders blame the lack of support from the three senior leaders, ex-MP Ajay Maken, Ramakant Goswami, and Brahm Yadav, who failed to mobilise workers during election campaigns and took the polls lightly. Moreover, the party had appointed block presidents, one each to all 193 booths before the elections. “Had the DPCC not done that, we would have received even lesser votes,” a Congress leader said.
The bypolls were necessitated by the ascension of Raghav Chadha to Rajya Sabha, who then had to vacate the Rajinder Nagar Assembly seat.It is worthy to mention that despite ruling Delhi for 15 years, from 1998 to 2013, the Congress has no representative in the Delhi Assembly. Party leaders say that the unit is simply falling apart. “Only a skeleton is left of the party in Delhi,” a senior leader said.
The party’s vote share has fallen enormously from a staggering 48.13% in 2003 to 4.26% in the 2020 Assembly elections. In the 2020 Assembly elections, the party had contested 66 seats out of which it lost its deposits on 63 seats. Party leaders say that the high command seems disinterested to bring the Delhi Congress back on track. In the process, the party has also become directionless and listless in planning electoral targets.
Experts believe that while failing to target the BJP on the national front, the party has been opposing the BJP in Delhi when it is not even in power.
“The party has also failed to be a strong voice for the people and raise issues of importance,” a political analyst said.
On the other hand, the BJP believes that the 2025 Assembly elections will be bipolar between the AAP and BJP. Ashok Goyal, BJP vice president Delhi unit, said, “We will work to reach the target of 50% vote share in the coming Assembly elections of Delhi.”
Vikram Lohia, Congress spokesperson for Delhi, said, “AAP and BJP used their power and money to win the Rajindra Nagar bypolls. AAP won the seat, and they have been talking about it, but who did they win the seat from? The seat was all along with them, so have they won the seat from their own self? It is an understood thing that the party who is in power gets the benefit; Congress tried to contest the election wholeheartedly, but failed to have a place in people’s hearts, but in the future, we will carve our place in people’s hearts, and win the 2025 elections. We have started strengthening our organisation structure, and will also contemplate on the reasons why we lost this election.”