After suffering a crushing defeat in the assembly elections, the Congress is now facing an existential crisis as well as the challenge of retaining its role as the leader of the opposition camp. This challenge has arisen in front of him due to the massive victory of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Punjab Assembly elections.
Political analysts say the Congress’ road to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is going to be very difficult as the party is in the ‘ICU’ and there is no quick way to revive it. The Aam Aadmi Party not only won a landslide victory by securing 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, but also uprooted the roots of the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Congress government remained in two states
The Congress not only lost power in an important state like Punjab, but also suffered a crushing defeat in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. With the victory in Punjab, AAP has come to power in two states. Congress also now has power in only two states, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. He is a junior partner in the coalition governments of Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
On AAP’s stellar performance in Punjab, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi says, “AAP’s victory is spectacular and needs to be appreciated. Whichever opposition party gives a tough fight to the BJP, it should be supported.” Rajya Sabha member Priyanka told PTI, “Congress needs to introspect about whether it will be a challenge for Congress or not. Yes… the opposition needs to be strengthened.
Sanjay Kumar, co-director of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), said the AAP’s expansion posed a big threat to the Congress’s role as the leader of the opposition camp. “Congress should realize that in the state where AAP has made inroads, it has gained massive penetration… They have made inroads in Delhi and Punjab at the cost of Congress,” he said.
Explaining the current situation of the Congress in medical terms, Kumar said, “If someone has a broken arm bone he goes to the Orthopedist, if there is any other disease then the person goes to the specialist doctor of the concerned disease.” But if the patient’s condition is serious, then he is in ICU and he is treated by all kinds of specialist doctors. Congress is now seen lying in the ICU.
Writer and senior journalist Rashid Kidwai says that the rise of AAP is a big threat to the Congress in the opposition camp.
He said, “This threat is of different level in different states. For example, AAP has not yet been able to make inroads in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.