The Congress might need leveraged the Hathras incident (the rape and subsequent loss of life of a 19-year-old Dalit lady), however the get together now faces the problem of sustaining the momentum within the nation’s politically essential state of Uttar Pradesh the place it has been relegated to the margins up to now three many years.
Photographs of the Uttar Pradesh Police manhandling Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday and his sister and get together basic secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who had been on their method to Hathras on Saturday to satisfy the household of the lady who died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday a fortnight after she was allegedly gang-raped in her village, have been shared extensively on social media.
In addition they seem to have emboldened get together leaders and staff to sharpen their assault on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Get together (BJP) each within the state and Centre.
“These pictures are disturbing and have agitated not solely Congress leaders and staff however your entire nation. How can a policeman misbehave with any lady? And this occurred to any individual who has Z plus safety cowl,” mentioned Youth Congress president Srinivas BV.
A number of Congress leaders, together with former Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy, in contrast the Gandhi siblings’ Hathras go to to Indira Gandhi’s go to to Belchi in Bihar in 1977. It’s mentioned to have revived the electoral fortunes of the Congress after its humiliating defeat within the 1977 nationwide elections.
Indira Gandhi travelled by practice, jeep and tractor and rode an elephant to achieve Belchi village the place 10 Dalits had been massacred. Three years later, the Congress stormed to energy within the 1980 Lok Sabha elections.
However the BJP described the Gandhi siblings’ go to to Hathras as “political tourism” and accused the Congress of politicising the problem. On the centre of the storm, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath mentioned these in opposition to growth had been attempting to stoke caste and communal riots within the state.
Congress leaders say the get together plans to aggressively increase the Hathras challenge within the upcoming meeting elections in Bihar and different states (together with Uttar Pradesh) the place by-polls are going to be held subsequent month.
However the large job for the opposition get together shall be to make sure that the momentum generated by the Hathras incident is sustained within the run as much as the 2022 Uttar Pradesh meeting elections.
Previously too, the get together created a buzz on just a few events however didn’t maintain it. The Gandhi siblings, particularly Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, had been on the forefront of the agitation in opposition to the modification to the citizenship legislation late final 12 months, visiting households of these killed in violent protests over the Citizenship (Modification) Act (CAA) and the proposed pan-India Nationwide Register of Residents (NRC) train.
The Congress sought to faucet the anger of the youth, particularly college students, in opposition to the BJP, however the drive quickly fizzled out.
Equally, the get together clearly stole the limelight from the Samajwadi get together (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Get together (BSP) on the disaster over migrant staff travelling again to Uttar Pradesh throughout the coronavirus disease-induced nationwide lockdown with its aggressive posturing in opposition to the BJP.
Whereas the BJP and the Congress slugged it out within the open, the 2 regional events – SP and BSP – surprisingly watched the developments from a distance.
However after few video messages, the Congress seemingly misplaced the tempo.
This time, nevertheless, Congress leaders say they won’t let the BJP authorities go unchecked in UP. “The Hathras incident has shocked India. It has highlighted the state of affairs in UP. Such incidents happen nearly day-after-day within the state and legislation and order has utterly collapsed. The BJP authorities needs to brazen it out however this is not going to be allowed,” mentioned senior Congress chief Jitin Prasada.
“Politics is one factor and the opposite is definitely feeling for the aggrieved. We shall be doing what an opposition get together has to do however this incident is heart-breaking. We is not going to enable the BJP authorities to go unchecked in UP,” he added.
One of many causes recognized by political specialists for the shortage of momentum on any challenge is the shortage of organisational construction on the bottom, on condition that the get together has remained out of energy for over three many years since 1989.
“Through the years, Congress has ceded its political house to different events and its conventional vote base has shifted. Whereas its Dalit vote went to BSP, the Muslims sided with SP and the higher castes aligned themselves with the BJP. The Congress has additionally not taken any concrete steps to strengthen the organisation through the years,” mentioned Allahabad-based political analyst Professor Ramkishor Shastri.
“In 2009 Congress gained 22 Lok Sabha seats. It may have used that chance to construct up its organisational construction however it failed to take action,” he added.
Having been decimated in UP within the 2017 meeting elections and this 12 months’s Lok Sabha polls, the Congress is struggling to make its presence felt within the state’s political panorama. The get together had dominated the politics of UP until the emergence of Mandal-Mandir points in late 1980s. Through the years, it has been relegated to the political margins. The get together even misplaced its conventional bastion of Amethi within the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with BJP’s Smriti Irani defeating Rahul Gandhi.