MPCC chief Gaikhangam has implied that the Congress Party in north-eastern states will not be affected by the rout the party suffered at the recent Assembly elections. In fact, another Congress leader hailing from the south, chief minister of Kerala, Ooman Chandy echoed the same views. Does that mean that the need for deeper introspection within the party as felt by leading voice of the party Sonia Gandhi will not be applicable in the regions? Definitely, it should be.
We have to grant it to Gaikhangam that the just finished elections were held in the northern areas of the country, which is considered as the strong hold of the BJP. It is relatively weak in the south and north-eastern regions and emulating the same performance here during the Parliament elections will be hard. But all the same, the results have thrown up facts that forebode dim prospects for the Congress at the next Parliamentary elections. First of all, when BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was hitting the right notes with the voters, the heir-apparent of the Congress leadership, Rahul Gandhi failed to make an impression in discussing the issues that were crucial to voters. Also, there were clear indications that the voters are fed up with the policies of the UPA government and the struggling economy. We have to keep in mind that the opinions are a nation-wide observation and not restricted to north India alone. Also, despite the reservation over his close association with hard-core Hindu groups, Narendra Modi has been regarded as an efficient administrator, pro-business and one of the best man to bet for on increasing the development and quality of governance in India. There is a huge section of people who firmly believes that a political change which will be strong enough to alter the high inflation and tight monetary policies of the UPA and bring investments in could happen if the BJP and Modi prevail at the next Parliamentary elections. Immediately after the announcement of election results, the share market and rupee responded positively and both soar higher.
The Manipur Congress chief and his colleagues in other north-eastern states will need to be wary of history and how hard it is to prevent the wind of change blowing in the mainland from entering the region. Moreover, the regional Congress leaders cannot be confused on the fact that the BJP is not their only adversary and be bewared by the success of poll debutant Aam Admi Party that pushed the party to the third rung in Delhi. The Congress party has risen from the ashes again and again. But, now is definitely not the time for the state unit of the Congress for letting complacency to creep in. Sonia message for deeper introspection is indeed a well-timed call with a bearing on every Congress workers in the country. Because, if there was a message that connects the poll verdicts in four out of the five states is the sense of estrangement from the UPA government felt by the voters and their growing anger with the Congress.