The vote counting of assembly elections on December 11 for five states witnessed a number of significant results, in particular, the Congress party's first direct win against the BJP in a major election for many years, in the state of Chhattisgarh, the success in Rajasthan where it is poised to form a government, and in Madhya Pradesh where it is currently neck-and-neck with the BJP with perhaps a slight advantage owing to the BSP ruling out any alliance with the saffron party.
In light of the results of the day, Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi spoke to the media and touched upon various political issues. After making a brief address where he touched upon his party's performance (and non-performance in Mizoram and Telangana) and on elucidating the poll planks on which he intends to continue fighting the BJP in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, he surprisingly remarked that for him, 2014 was the best election.
Speaking of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, swept by the BJP, Gandhi said, “For me, 2014 was the best election, as counter-intuitive as it may sound. I learnt a lot, I learnt humility, as a politician you have to listen to what they feel, connect and try to work with that sentiment. Narendra Modi has taught me that lesson, now I know what not to do. He taught me humility. I feel sad for Modi that he had five years to transform this country but he refused to listen to the heartbeat of the country, refused to listen to the youth and farmers. Certain amount of arrogance came into him and I think that’s fatal for politicians. I told this to my mother that I learnt a lot from 2014 elections and him (PM Modi). It has been quite a journey, a little bit of beating also, but that’s not a bad thing.”
Rahul Gandhi also laid out the three prominent issues that the party emphasizes in its vision. Elaborating on this, he said, “There are a couple of Central issues. Issue number one is about how India is going to give employment to its youth, issue number two is how India is going to ensure the future of farmers in this country and how agriculture fits in a larger economic vision of the country. And issue number three is how corruption has been blatantly carried out in this country. As I repeat over and over again, how demonetisation is a scam, Rafale was corruption.”
The Congress president denounced the BJP for destabilising the economy, citing demonetisation, GST and ongoings at the RBI, saying, “There was mismanagement of the economy, causing unnecessary damage to the sections of the economy that were actually doing well. Badly implemented GST, demonetisation which was disastrous. Now RBI Governor has resigned, former governors of RBI are commenting on the issue. Broadly the Congress party and Opposition are going to attempt that Mr. Modi sold a vision to this country five years ago and the country had the patience to listen to that vision and give him five years to carry out that vision. Mr. Modi and BJP have failed to provide a vision to go forward.”
He pointed out how the motive of his party stands above criticising, but would be engrossed in the development programs that as he claims the Congress has achieved in the past. “Other than attacking the current dispensation, we would be setting the structure and architecture for a new vision. Congress party has done this before, we did it in 1991, we did in the 70s with the green revolution. We are going to involve large parts of India for a vision to India,” he said
Expressing a vision for his party ahead of the 2019 elections, he said, “Loan waiver is not a solution, it’s a supporting step. We need to find more ways. Solution is not easy, its more complex. It’s challenging, but we will work with farmers and achieve it.”
“The vision that the public desired to see, BJP could not show them,” he concluded.