visualises formation of a UPA-III in the year ahead with the realignment of secular forces and "some kind of inside or outside support" from the Left parties and the JD-U.
He feels that Modi's hat-trick in Gujarat could be of advantage to UPA in 2014 as the development is bound to deepen the divide inside the BJP itself and weaken the NDA as he attempts to take over the leadership.
Noting that the year gone by has established the unity of the Congress as also solidarity of the UPA, Aiyar shares the optimism of many a faithful that the worst is over for the Congress.
Like Aiyar, many a party man feel that the Congress could end 2012 with much more optimism than in 2011 with the civil society movement seemingly dissipated with divisions cropping up.
The partymen insist that the defeat of the opposition-sponsored motions against FDI in retail was no mean achievement and so was the passage of the Banking bill.
In the year gone by, the state polls saw the Congress being relegated to the fourth position in Uttar Pradesh despite Rahul Gandhi personally leading the charge.
This was the biggest setback for the ruling party after coming to power at the Centre for the second time in 2009.
There was nothing to write home about Congress in a host of other state polls. Over-confidence cost the Congress dearly in Akali Dal-ruled Punjab, it was ousted from power in Goa in the wake of scams and scandals and as the year ended, the party had to helplessly watch Modi's hat-trick in Gujarat.
The redeeming feature was that it retained power in Manipur, ousted BJP from power in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
A series of Assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls in Andhra Pradesh, the only major state where the party is in power on its own, saw the ground slipping fast with the emergence of YSR Congress whose controversial young leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy parted ways with Congress sometime back.
In the year gone by, Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, was at the centre of controversy over his alleged land deals in party-ruled Haryana with Opposition targeting the first family of the party over the issue.
Some Union Ministers belonging to the Congress were also dogged by controversy during the year and notably among them was Virbhadra Singh who resigned from the Cabinet in the wake of framing of charges in a corruption case against