Congress had a roller-coaster ride in 2014 from the commanding heights of power to the lowest depths...
Congress had a roller-coaster ride in 2014 from the commanding heights of power to the lowest depths of defeat as the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut decimated it in Lok Sabha and successive assembly polls.
Undoubtedly, 2014 turned out to be one of the worst years for the party which brought freedom to India and presided over its destiny over most of the time since Independence.
It failed to secure even the Leader of the Opposition post in the Lok Sabha with its tally down to just 44 in a House of 543.
As if this was not enough, the Opposition space too turned competitive. While it was denied the LoP status in Lok Sabha, Trinamool Congress, BJD and SP tried to form a triumvirate group seeking the post as an alliance in place of Congress.
After two tenures in power, Congress’ tally plummeted to a mere 44 from 206, it had notched in the 2009 general election, marking the dramatic slump in its popularity within a span of five years. It also suffered reverses in the states that went to assembly polls.
Questions were raised about the efficacy of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership after successive defeats but the party mandarins were quick to snub the dissenting voices and the Congress vice president in the fag end of the year held a meeting with party general secretaries on the strategy to arrest the decline of support base and revive the party.
While everything went right for BJP, disaster struck Congress this year.
Its defeat trail did not stop at the Lok Sabha elections. The party lost power in two states Maharashtra and Haryana in October after ruling them in alliance and alone for 15 and 10 years respectively while the year-end saw its exit from power in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand where it participated in government in alliance with National Conference and JMM-RJD respectively.
The ambitious UPA experiment through which Sonia Gandhi had brought the Congress to power a decade ago was in tatters.