Written byShalini Ojha ·
After much brouhaha, the candidate on which Congress placed its bets was Ajay Rai, who couldn't even get more votes than AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal in 2014.
This poor decision was taken despite Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being an option.
Let's understand why this spells trouble for Congress.
Priyanka, who for long remained backstage, was appointed the in-charge of Congress for UP East in January. Almost two months after taking the plunge into active politics, Priyanka teased a showdown with PM Modi.
On being suggested to fight from Raebareli (her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency), Priyanka said, "Why not Varanasi?"
And then speculations of a giant clash started.
For weeks, Congress continued to flirt with the idea. The party kept up with the ambiguity with party President Rahul Gandhi opining suspense isn't totally bad.
The mere possibility of Priyanka's candidature sent a wave of happiness across party cadres who felt she is needed across all quarters.
However, after picturing her as the 'brahmastra', Congress relegated Priyanka to shadows again.
When Priyanka joined politics, Rahul announced he hadn't sent her to UP for just two months. He said with utmost confidence that Priyanka would revive the party in the state and in next assembly polls, Congress would win the majority.
Now a couple of weeks, a boat ride, and some boring speeches later, it won't be wrong to assume Congress isn't putting up a good fight.
Congress seems to have excelled the art of letting go of opportunities. Priyanka, who was reported to start her campaign from Kumbh Mela, never showed up. She spoke fondly about contesting from Varanasi but that didn't materialize either.
Agreed Varanasi is a tough seat, but politics isn't always about winning or losing. It is also about sending messages and Congress has lost the perception battle.
Perhaps Congress should have learned something from Arvind Kejriwal. In 2014, the AAP chief was a newbie in politics but took on PM Modi in Varanasi.
The campaign wasn't easy for him either but Kejriwal remained stern.
As a result, he won 2,09,000 as compared to PM Modi's 5,81,000 votes. Subsequently, Kejriwal then became the big challenger and Delhi appreciated this in assembly polls.
Last time the defeat margin was a little over 1,00,000 votes, and Smriti is all ready for a big fight again.
It was her attitude which made her a Cabinet minister despite an imminent loss.
Either Congress is too lazy to make a groundbreaking strategy or the party is certain May 23 will not bring any good news for it, and hence it has stopped making any efforts.
At a time when BJP, SP-BSP-RLD, Trinamool, and even CPI(M) in Begusarai, are going all out to change voters' opinion, Congress is wasting every opportunity.
Probably preparing for 2024?
Love Politics news?
Subscribe to stay updated.