Urban youth, women should be party’s new constituency

BENGALURU: Most of us in the Congress recognize the road ahead for the party’s comeback is an obstacle race, and not a smooth ride where you patiently await an inviting destination. We recognize, also, that ups and downs in elections do not lead up a blind alley.

The data of the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 offers us hope: We lost the election but secured 19.52% vote share, which was 0.72% higher than BJP’s 18.80% in 2009, but BJP had bagged 116 parliamentary seats. Likewise, the BJP managed to get 31.34% of votes in 2014 which was a mere 2.78% more than the Congress vote of 28.55% in 2009. The implication is clear: Congress can narrow down this gap if we get down to the Gram Panchayat-level organizational structure, with specifically identified regular activity. The Congress, however, would do well to focus on the following: It should highlight through targeted, effective communication that it is the only party which can protect and promote India’s unity by upholding its cultural diversity and plurality of faiths ensuring a “non-parochial” India, thus ensuring stability. It should develop a fair and acceptable combination of market phenomenon with pro-poor welfarism as a guiding principle of economic development.

The Congress can no longer afford to ignore the multifarious problems faced by women. We need urgent strategies to mobilize women. We need to work on this as a priority in Karnataka. It should seriously consider state-specific alliances with broadly like-minded parties against the BJP. I endorse Digvijaya Singh’s suggestion that those who left the party should be brought back. I believe the Congress in Karnataka should identify the broad features of a development model as an alternative to the BJP, or Gujarat model of “development that comes along with Hindutva”

Source:The Times of India



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