After the Congress was emphatically rejected by voters in state elections, party veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar has predicted that the Congress will lose the general election and should use its time in the opposition to reinvent itself.
“Who can be even half-way realistic and expect the Congress to return to power?” Mr Aiyar told Reuters.
Mr Aiyar’s remarks follow a disastrous showing for the Congress in elections held over the last month in three big states and the capital, Delhi.
“A break from governance would be a welcome break that could be used to refit the party as the nation’s natural party of governance in the 21st century,” the Rajya Sabha member wrote in a newspaper column today.
“The current and prospective electoral reverses for the Congress are thus Rahul’s golden opportunity,” he said, referring to the young scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and potential candidate for prime minister.
Mr Aiyar’s opinion was personal and not the party’s view, said other Congress leaders.
The BJP has won Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and is the largest party in Delhi. The Congress’ only bright spot is its victory in Mizoram.
The BJP has been boosted by the energetic campaigning of its candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, but also by voter fatigue with Congress after years of spectacular corruption scandals and stubborn inflation.reaturs report
Mr Aiyar said the growing strength of regional parties would make it hard for the BJP to form a stable coalition and predicted there would be new general elections by 2016.
“I am deeply convinced that, whoever forms the government in 2014, we will be faced with another general election by 2015 or 2016, at the latest,” he said.