Can Congress stage a comeback in 2019 elections?
Congress has been in power for most of the time post-independence. To be precise Congress has lost national election only thrice: 1977, 1989 and 1996. It was only after 57 years of Independence that a non-congress party completed its full term in 2004. What BJP seems to be aiming for today is unprecedented as no non-Congress government has ever been able to complete two consecutive terms.
At the time of the 2004 elections the situations were similar to what they are today, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was seeking re-elections and Congress was at its record low and had managed to get only 114 seats in the previous elections, yet in the 2004 elections Congress made a comeback and won the elections by a close margin. In 2009 Congress again won the elections this time with an even bigger margin.This brings us to the question that can Congress repeat in 2019 elections what they had done in 2004?
Situations have never been worse for Congress. This is the first time in the post-independence history that the total vote share of the party has gone below 20%. During there era of dominance from 1952 to 1984, their vote share never went below 34%. Even after that from 1984 to 2009, they were able to claim a vote share of over 25%. This clearly goes on to show that the party is in troubled waters.
On the other hand, BJP seems to be in the best position to reclaim victory in 2019 elections. As of now, they are the ruling party in 21 out of 29 states, a feat which has never been achieved before. The maximum states that Congress has ever ruled at a given time was 18 that too back in 1993. As of now, the Narendra Modi led Bhartiya Janta Party definitely has an upper hand in the 2019 elections. It seems highly unlikely that BJP will lose the elections.
Under the newly found presidency of Rahul Gandhi, the best that Congress can do is to unite the opposition in order to give some competition to the BJP government. Back in 2013 Rahul Gandhi in one of his speeches said that if India is a computer then Congress is its default program, seeing the post-independence scenario he was somewhat justified in saying so. But today the tables have turned and Congress is no more the default program that it once was.The best results that Congress can wish for is that BJP gets 200 or fewer seats so that they cannot form a government on there own.
The biggest hurdle that is in the way of Congress for making a comeback in 2019 elections is the lack of a competent Prime Ministerial candidate. People still don’t see Rahul Gandhi as a suitable candidate for the position and without a face, it isn’t going to be easy for the party to make a comeback anytime soon and with very little time left for the 2019 election, there isn’t much that can be done to improve the position of party.