Another set of election defeats for the Congress today confirmed that India’s oldest party is at its lowest point since independence.
In its never-ending nightmare, the Congress today lost Punjab to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and could not manage a comeback in Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, where the BJP took comfortable leads despite exit poll predictions of close fights.
In Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP headed for a record win with a landslide, the Congress placed a distant fourth.
The Congress’ hopes in Goa dimmed as the BJP widened its lead early, contrary to exit poll predictions of a close fight.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi talked about a “revamp and rewiring” after the latest in a series of election debacles for the party since 2014, when it lost power at the Centre.
“If we lose in all five states, then we have to think about a revamp and rewiring for the party,” said Mr Singhvi.
The party was losing at least half of its vote share in Punjab, one of the last big states in its depleting deck.
The Congress’s heavyweights – Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu – struggled in their constituencies in what appeared to be an AAP wave.
Wracked by infighting, the Congress went into self-destruct mode in Punjab, replacing its Chief Minister just four months before elections.
Responding to questions about the failure of Congress’s Punjab gamble, Mr Singhvi said the party had taken “strong, maybe unpleasant decisions”.
Another Congress leader, Shama Mohammad, said: “In Punjab, it is our own doing. We could have held on, but we went wrong.”