Now it is again become Sonia Gandhi’s responsibility to put together the broken pieces of opposition unity.
She successfully performed this task in 2004, which lead the way for the Congress’s return to power after nearly a decade.
But, now 13 years later, the job has become far more difficult. the Congress president’s principal opponent, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become politically a great deal more secure as well as uncommonly aggressive under a new leadership unlike in the time of Atal Behari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani.
For another, the Congress has become weaker and demoralised after its drubbing by the BJP in 2014. Its reputation has also suffered because of the corruption charges it faced during its tenure in power in the 2004-14 period.
For Sonia Gandhi, therefore, it is going to be an arduous endeavour to offer a serious challenge to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo in the BJP.
Her task has been made all the more difficult by the departure of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from the “secular” camp to the BJP. As he carried considerable credibility because of his clean image and administrative ability, he was undoubtedly an asset perhaps the only one in the non-BJP camp.
For the Congress, next year’s assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan can enable the party to tap into popular grievances since the BJP can well become the victim of the anti-incumbency factor.