The High-voltage drama which unfolded after the Karnataka Assembly election results is in its final leg today as HD Kumaraswamy is set to take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. List of those who are attending the swearing-in-ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy’s is full of big names of Indian politics and anti-Modi faces. The list includes the names of Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar, K. Chandrashekar Rao, Mamata, Chandrababu Naidu, Tejashwi Yadav, Pinarayi Vijayan, Farooq Abdullah, Ajit Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi. This swearing-in-ceremony is also an attempt to unite the anti-Modi factions before 2019 General elections and to show the strength and unity of the opposition. However, cracks have started to emerge even before the formation.
Telangana CM and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrashekar Rao took a flight to Bangalore yesterday, congratulated Kumaraswamy, and returned to Hyderabad. He doesn’t want to attend the ceremony because he doesn’t want to share the dais with the Gandhis. This is after he, along with Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, pitched the idea of a federal front to take on the BJP, without the Congress. The Congress is the main opposition party in Telangana and KCR would not identify with the Congress party especially when the polls in his home state are due next year. KCR had proposed federal front as both anti-BJP and anti-Congress.
KCR’s absence would be a huge setback for the opposition unity. Mamata, on her part, has also said that she cannot be part of a front led by Congress President Rahul Gandhi. Monitoring the situation in Karnataka closely and keeping in touch with Kumaraswamy, she has emerged as a possible face to take on PM Modi. None of the regional satraps want the Congress or the Gandhi family to lead the anti-Modi front. KCR skipping the ceremony because he doesn’t even want to be seen with the Gandhis is likely to have political ramifications. Yesterday, even Mulayam put his hat in the ring again through Akhilesh.
Other leaders who are not attending the swearing-in-ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy include the names of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and DMK working president MK Stalin. Naveen Patnaik is playing safe as he doesn’t want to be seen as the anti-Modi. BJP is making strong inroads in Odisha and Naveen Patnaik wants to keep space for any sort of future alliance with the BJP. According to some media reports, Naveen Patnaik is not even sending any representative of his party in the swearing-in-ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy. In the past as well, Naveen Patnaik has not shown any interest in the so-called federal front. Last month when the news broke out that KCR would meet Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar in the first week of May, Naveen Patnaik was quick to dismiss the rumours about any talks of federal front. He said, “As far as I know, the Telangana CM is going on a pilgrimage to Puri. On the way, he is paying a courtesy call. There will be no discussion on a Federal Front or anything to do with politics for the matter.” It clearly shows that he doesn’t even remotely want to be seen as anti-BJP or anti-Modi. MK Stalin is skipping the event due to the anti-Sterlite protest going on in Tuticorin, Tamilnadu.
Possibility of a strong anti-BJP alliance seems to be a remote possibility. People would also not love to go back to era of 90s of coalition governments which has caused so much of damage to the country. By forming such alliances they are exposing themselves to the people of this nation. As far as swearing-in-ceremony celebration is concerned they all should attend it. Hardly, they have got anything to celebrate after so many years.