In spite of the decline of Congress dominance the Congress party continues to influence politics in the country. Do you agree? Give reasons

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The Indian National Congress is the oldest and historically the most important force in Indian polity. Having seen as synonymous with the national movement, the Party has been an integral part of the country in the pre- and post-independence era.

a. The rise of coalition politics in 1989 had put an end to the Congress System, altering the party system in the country. But it is difficult to imagine Indian politics without the Congress, which still continues to remain an important political force.
b. After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the party did witness a political vacuum, but it formed the government at the Centre with P.V. Narsihma Rao as the prime minister.
c. The Congress also supported the United Front government in 1997–98.
d. The arrival of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi changed the face of the Congress and filled the loss that the party incurred after Rajiv Gandhi’s death. The party led the UPA coalition government at the Centre in 2004 and thereafter again in 2009 when the party won 206 seats.
e. The Congress also formed governments at the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, etc.
f. The part, however, received a huge blow in the 2014 general elections and was decimated. The party did not win a single seat in seven states. . The party, however, won 44 LS seats. It proved to be the worst ever performance by the Congress.

The failure of the Congress can be attributed to the following factors:

a. The tenure of the UPA was characterised by corruption and scams. The coal scam, the CWG scam and the 3G spectrum scam created disillusionment in the general public who desired clean and transparent governance.
b. Growing inflation and unemployment, economic slowdown and policy paralysis contributed to a large extent in contributed to a large extent in affecting the image of the Congress and its allies in the public eye.
c. Weak political leadership under the prime minister who failed to take tough decisions on security matters led to the debacle of the Congress.
d. Rahul Gandhi's tactics failed to struck a chord with the masses; the Congress's campaigning strategy did not bear results.
e. The Modi wave swayed the entire nation. He proved himself as a strong candidate and powerful orator with charismatic personality who promised to replicate Gujarat's development model in the nation.
f. The BJP emerged as a strong opposition that offered a strong political alternative to the people, promising good governance and development.
g. Political analysts argue that the Congress needs to rework on its strategies and must project a strong leadership to win popular support and emerge again as a strong political contender.

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