Cong continues losing streak; draws blank in M’rashtra

Rajat Kain

FILE: New Delhi : Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Parliament, New Delhi. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi : Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi at Parliament, New Delhi.
Photo – PTI

It has been over 45 months that Congress party on its own tasted victory. After that summer of 2012, when they had comprehensively defeated a rather divided BJP in Karnataka, the grand old party has consistently been pushed out of political landscape, both from the Centre and the states.

The story is no different in the municipal polls in Maharashtra, dubbed as mini assembly polls, where Congress has once again come a cropper.

Distant number three in the all-crucial BMC and nowhere in nine other municipal bodies of Pune, Thane, Nashik, Ulhasnagar, Pimpri-chinchwad, Nagpur, Solapur, Akola and Amravati.

It could win only 31 seats in a 227-seat BMC, a deficit of 21 than the last time.

Owing to the pathetic showing, especially in Mumbai, its city unit Chief Sanjay Nirupam, known to be close to the party vice chief Rahul Gandhi, has offered to resign.

“In their aim to defeat me, they caused immense harm to the party,” he said in an apparent reference to his detractors within the party.

Saying he tried his best for the party in the two years of his tenure as city unit chief, he offered his resignation to party’s top leadership.

“I admit there were lack of resources in the last two years. One person cannot ensure the party’s success. There was immense negativity spread by certain party leaders to harm the campaign,” Nirupam charged.

The party, though, was a bitterly divided house due to infighting between the two individuals who matters — Sanjay Nirupam and erstwhile Mumbai PCC chief Gurudas Kamat — it has performed even poorly than last time. Congress has won 52 seats in 2012 BMC polls.

Kamat, a former two term Lok Sabha MP, had earlier left Congress party and it took some persuasion from the top leadership to make his return in the fold possible.

Even in Zila Parishads, the Congress party faced set back securing third spot. Currently it is leading on 300 seats, behind BJP’s 403 and NCP’s 344. The vote count for the rest of the civic bodies is still on.