Congress Excels in Minority Votebank Politics

Winning electoral battles on the strength of the political credibility and demonstrated record of political achievements by a political party is one thing but resorting to crass minority votebank politics indicates political desperation to improve political fortunes at any cost. The Congress Party in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections commencing next month is exactly indulging in the latter. The political stakes for the Congress Party in the Assembly Elections are very high chiefly because it wishes to establish ‘Brand Rahul’ as an election-winning factor. The large Indian Muslims votebanks in Uttar Pradesh are being specially targeted to emerge as the decisive factor in reversal of political fortunes in Uttar Pradesh for the Congress Party.

In the run-up to the Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress Government has announced many sops for the Indian Muslims in terms of increased reservations while going ahead by using the generic term of ‘minorities’ as a political fig-leaf. This has not befooled the general public in whose perceptions these steps are being realistically viewed as providing sops to garner Indian Muslim votes.

So much so that only yesterday the Election Commission has issued notices to the Central Law Minister and his wife for announcing increased quotas for the Indian Muslims after the Model Code of Conduct has become operative.

The moot question that emerges in this connection is that why is the Congress Party resorting to such desperate measures claiming to be a Party of over hundred years standing and ruling in New Delhi for more than eight years continuously.

The answer lies in a simple fact that the Congress Government in New Delhi has suffered a severe image deficit in terms of lack of effective governance and widespread large-scale corruption which has sickened the citizens of the Indian Republic. So in the Uttar Pradesh Elections the Congress Party has nothing to fortify its election campaign in terms of credible development achievements and a strong political image of the Congress-run Central Government in New Delhi for the last eight years.

Rahul Gandhi in his whirlwind election campaign in Uttar Pradesh currently is shouting hoarse on rampant corruption of the Mayawati Government and corruption in BJP-ruled States. This however does not seem to be impressing the voters as in the age of 24x7 electronic media the Indian voter stands brainwashed and made alive to the rampant corruption in which the Congress Government in New Delhi cannot absolve its accountability and responsibility for the cascade of corruption scams by Cabinet Ministers and other Congress functionaries. 

Exploiting Indian Muslims votebanks has been a historical and traditional feature of Congress Party electoral strategies in the past six decades. But presently in Uttar Pradesh elections the Congress Party has also to contend with the Samajwadi Party led by former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh which too has been practising Indian Muslim votebank politics with some success in the past.

Media reports suggest that unlike in past decades the Indian Muslim votebank is no longer expected to vote as one unified whole. With better education and economic and social upward mobility, the younger generation of India Muslims wish to be a part of the Indian mainstream and abhor the votebank politics inflicted on their community through their clergy by parties like the Congress and Samajwadi Party.

In a few weeks’ time India will come to know whether Indian Muslim votebank politics of the Congress Party, which excels in such games can reverse political fortunes of the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh even with Rahul Gandhi as their star campaigner.


More by :  Dr. Subhash Kapila

Top | Analysis

Views: 3374      Comments: 3

Comment Kudos to Dr Kapila about the attempts of Congress to woo the muslim vote bank. No doubt a large mass of the community in UP remains illiterate to semi-literate and may be cajoled to swing towards the Congress. But in U.P. since the very first election many factors have worked for or against the Congress. After the brutal, cold blooded murder of Mahatma Gandhi Congress gained a sufficient edge over the RSS, The Hindu Mahasbha and later Jansangh-they were branded as anti-muslim and non-secular. However, ant-incumbency factor always played a key role in the wins and losses. There was a time in early fifties when Socialist Party was trying to raise its head-at that time some 'down to earth' socialists realised that it is the ministerial post that matters and they began to switch loyalties. Floor crossing was unheard of those days. Yet they tried their best to switch loyalties and join the Congress. I remember one powerful Neta tried his best to convince Pt Govind Ballabh Pant to allow him to join Congress. But Pant ji used to say that a person who can not be loyal to his party can never be loyal to congress either! He used to sometimes also add that a person who is ready to change his cap for his personal gains will not hesitate to sell the country!
Pant ji's remarks came to be true. However, the moment he passed away all such persons were knowingly or unkowingly allowed to join Congress. They not only joined the party but also rose to power and amassed a great amount of wealth.
In a nutshell the party which was behind the country's freedom became a good source of amassing wealth. The culture laid by the Congress was soon adopted by others too. And the tradition continues.
It is for sure that Congress can not get the majority like the BSP got in the last elections. In all likelihood more chances are of a coalition govt. As I said a person at the time of joining politics knows very well that it is not the public service that matters-what matters is the power of a ruling govt. Thus Congress may form a govt in coalition with any of its 'opponents'. I will not be surprised if there is a coalition between the Congress and the BJP with the latter supporting from outside.

V.K. Joshi
15-Jan-2012 02:46 AM

Comment As I go through the article of Dr. Subash Kapila I think that the growing influence of congress over Muslims & minorities will help BJP to reach near the power line
in the coming Assembly Elections of 5 States

Suresh Vachani
13-Jan-2012 16:48 PM

Comment It looks like Congress is going to perform worse than expected in UP.

And this will make congressmen ponder over 'usefulness' of Rahul.

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
11-Jan-2012 14:05 PM

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