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The Indian National Congress has had a tumultuous year filled with infighting, indecision and unappeasable exits in 2022. The newly elected party led by Mallikarjun Kharge has spent the past year plagued by internal strife but ended it on a positive note with a victory in Himachal Pradesh, although this again sparked problems within the management there.

Congress now finds itself in a precarious position to offer voters a new narrative, beyond its rich history, ahead of the real test for the Lok Sabha in 2024. Their waning popularity is not lost on key Congress leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, who in September took it upon himself to mobilize public support through the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra.

Here are some events that have kept Congress in the news over the past 12 months.

Election in Himachal Pradesh

The Congress party just a few weeks ago won the Himachal Pradesh parliamentary elections, dethroning the BJP and reclaiming 40 out of 68 seats. Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu now sits as the state’s chief minister.

Despite a single percentage point victory in terms of the vote split, this narrow victory could be interpreted as the choice of Congress as an alternative to the BJP.

The party now holds majority support in three states – Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan – and in coalition in three states – Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Jharkhand.

A defeat in Himachal Pradesh could have further demoralized party workers, as it would have broken the alternating pattern of Congress and BJP victories seen since 1985. Instead, it validated Congress efforts in the state. , making Congress a real challenger to the BJP. in the race to come.

Presidential election

Held in October, the Indian National Congress presidential election was disputed between Kharge and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor following the departure of Rahul Gandhi in 2019.

A non-Gandhi president has been elected for the first time in 24 years, ushering in a new era for one of India’s oldest political parties.

Having been considered a “sycophant” by the Nehru-Gandhis, INC Chairman Kharge now shoulders the burden of helping the party find its footing and get it into fighting shape, which is not possible only through competent leadership.

Bharat Jodo Yatra

Rahul Gandhi’s 3,500km foot rally has drawn huge crowds and media attention since it started in September.

The yatra, which recently completed 100 days, intends to shake off the infighting that is darkening the country, but many wonder if that is what it is doing.

Torn between the ‘old guard and the new brigade’, Gandhi took to the streets of India hoping to convince not only the country’s voters, but also members of his own party, of the potential of the Congress party. to have an impact on national politics.

We have yet to see if the yatra ignites a fire in the hearts of Indians who are looking for a Modi alternative.

National Herald case

Former Congresswoman Sonia Gandhi was questioned by the ED in July in the National Herald money laundering case.

The case, filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, alleges that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, among others, used party funds to take over Associate Journals Limited (AJL).

While Congress leaders have argued they are being targeted, it’s hard to deny that their appearances before the ED haven’t cast them in a negative light months ahead of Gujarat assembly elections and India. Himachal Pradesh.

Top leaders quit Congress

An exodus of former Congress politicians such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and Sunil Jakhar in 2022 has exposed the weak party foundations that once led India to break free from British rule.

Echoing the oft-heard complaint of sycophancy governing the party’s leadership structure, Azad went so far as to write that they should have undertaken a “Congress Jodo Yatra” before starting a “Bharat Jodo Yatra” in his resignation letter. .

The party’s organizational disarray calls into question its ability to cope with a strong political comeback as the BJP advances.

Prashant Kishore and his deal

News of polls strategist Prashant Kishor’s possible connection to Congress fell on hopeful ears across the country, predicting the party’s return to its peak of political dominance.

However, that was not the case as negotiations between him and Congress broke down, costing the party a chance to undergo a major overhaul at the hands of the “poll magician”.

Kishore’s rejuvenation plan could have been exactly what the party needed, which many believe is underperforming and not reaching its potential.

2022 has played a vital role in showing Congress what is at stake in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. It remains to be seen what the grand old party of India does to regain its former glory.

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Ups and downs – Congress in 2022

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