Indian National Congress – Love them or hate them, you can certainly not ignore them. For ages, we have seen several parties coming in politics, making big and then vanishing with the wind. But Congress- well, they have been standing tall since more than half a century now, regardless of whether they have won only few seats in elections or were criticized badly by other parties. Of course, they know the game well unlike other players and also know when to apply what. Their strategies are what make them victorious time and again.
AAP and BJP often try their best to criticize the age old party. However, there are certain critical things in politics which they can learn only from the Congress. Here’s the three major things which they can/should learn from Congress:
1. Give Unconditional Support to the Leader
Not supporting the powerful fellow member of the gang who can be the next Godfather might work in the underworld but not in politics. In politics, it can only turn fatal. L K Advani’s hostility towards Narendra Modi for the 2014 Elections shows how void the party is within. The way the patriarch knocked down the Gujarat’s CM’s image with backings from senior leader Sushma Swaraj only exhibits the party in poor light.
On the other hand, if you see the Congress party, no matter how much Sonia Gandhi is criticized, the members always rally around the party leader. They will leave no stones unturned in defending their leader unlike BJPians. The recent instance is a very good example where we saw Mr. Manmohan Singh defending Rahul Gandhi and calling Narendra Modi disastrous. That’s like team spirit, isn’t it?
Arvind Kejriwal being in nascent stage might get full-fledged support from his party but in years to come, he can only survive if his close party members stay devoted to him just like the men in Congress.
2. Didn’t Win? No Problem, Let’s Revolt…
Over the years, we saw parties winning majority of seats and yet they could not complete the terms. In 1977 it was Janata Party who won a good number of 300 plus seats, in 1989 the National Front who won 275 seats and then in 1996 it was the United Front who managed 195 seats, yet neither of the three could complete the term. In fact, the latter two lasted only for 2 years and had two prime ministers in their short stint.
However, Congress with just 145 seats in the 2004 elections could carry on the entire show for complete five years. Not only that, they even carried their legacy for another term by winning merely 206 seats. The recent Delhi Assembly election in which BJP swiped maximum votes yet lost to Congress who supported AAP with their 8 seats, is something worth noting down in the study book.
3. Target The Bottom Of The Pyramid
While BJP was busy campaigning India Shinning boasting their reforms, Congress did nothing. When the verdict was out, the Congress was the clear winners. Why? Well, they did not show dreams but targeted the bull’s eye – the poor – directly. Congress has always targeted the bottom of the pyramid and even tries to make policies in their favor during their stints.
“Jai Jawan Jai Kissan”, Gareebi Hatao, Bharat Nirmaan may not be as big as India Shining but the impact it creates is definitely huge. This time around chances are, while BJP concentrates on Modi’s development by citing Gujarat’s example, Congress may actually swipe in the real aam aadmi votes for things they have already provided to the people in their 9 year term – work, education and food through NREGA, 2006, Right of children to Free and compulsory education, 2010 and Food Security Bill, 2013 respectively.
Freebies and subsidies never attract votes. Voters are far more intelligent than politicians think. So, new parties like AAP should rather not make such blunder. Instead, study the strategies if they wish to garner maximum votes.
Learning from others mistake is what the intelligent do and studying the opposition’s strategies is what the smarty does. I think, both AAP and BJP should start studying Congress strategies to learn the real “game of politics.”
By Deepti Verma