Rahul Gandhi instagram

The success of BJP is in its organisational structure that was made much stronger than expected by its own rank and file. Never did BJP national president Amit Shah let even a single stone unturned, nor did he leave sight of a single leader away, when he took up the gigantic task of devising the crucial electoral strategy way back in 2017.

To begin with, BJP has shown the opposition parties a wrong target to chase, similar to a red cloth shown in bullfighting. Rafale was one and Balakot was the other. All other burning issues such as demonetisation and GST have been watered down well before the elections fixing them with lesser tax, effectively appeasing the middle-class with no income tax up to Rs.5 lakh.

Once in poll fray, Congress and the regional opposition parties have been shown the red cloth left behind by the BJP but these trails of dismay failed to deliver despite Rahul Gandhi's repetitive "Chowkidar Chor Hai" charge on Rafale deal or even the much-acclaimed anti-poverty NYAY program, that has just failed to reach the bottom of the pyramid, whom it was meant to serve.

Though it's easier to blame the looser in every election, any introspection should help Congress to nail down on their massive communication failure, that was a forte of Amit Shah, who never relented on any hint, whether big or small. The reading on the wall is clear -- No longer should the grand old party believe in shortcuts.

Since Rahul Gandhi himself admitted to NDTV in an interview that Congress is still "disorganised", he should focus on rebuilding the party ahead, instead of sulking on a poll debacle. The struggle for elections 2024 should begin now. Unless Congress emerges as an effective alternative to BJP both in terms of ideology and human assets, it cannot dream of winning ever.

Building a strong party cadre, retaining the ideological edge over BJP, and keeping the national character of the party should preoccupy Congress in the next couple of years. Instead of aligning with the regional satraps to fight BJP out, Congress should learn from BJP to become its true national alternative.

In fact, here BJP and Congress have one common enemy -- the regional party in every state. Aligning with them remained a Hobson's choice many times in the past but this serves as a short-term vaccine instead of fighting a long-term disease head on.

Congress can take a leaf of lesson from BJP's success in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, while keeping the model of its own success in Kerala as its future recourse.