In the much-hyped grand-alliance being formed against the BJP, there are numerous PM aspirants. Different leaders of the alliance have extended supports to their favorite PM candidates, giving a sense that a lot needs to be done to iron out differences in the grand alliance. While former Prime Minister Deve Gowda has time and again stated that Rahul Gandhi is the most capable candidate to lead the so-called Mahagathbandhan, his son and the incumbent Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy rooted for Mamata Banerjee.
In an interview to PTI, Kumaraswamy said, “According to me, deciding on the leadership is not a criterion to win the polls. People of the country are totally disappointed with the administration of Narendra Modi. Several states have their own problems. It is not necessary to select a leader before the elections. There are effective leaders, who can move in a big way for the development of the country. They can make headway in areas where the previous governments have failed. But we can sit and select our leader after the elections are over.”
He also said, “She (Mamata) is simplest of the simple and a very good administrator. I believe that Mamata ji has all the capabilities of leading the country. And she has already proved herself by leading West Bengal for so many years.”
The statement came after Kumaraswamy attended the United India rally hosted by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. Curiously enough, the Congress President and PM aspirant Rahul Gandhi was not present at the rally.
He also showered praises on Mamata Banerjee for bringing together opposition leaders on the same stage. CM Kumaraswamy said, “Mamata ji did a great job in organizing the rally. She had even requested the Left to join her. This shows her generosity in her tactics in fighting the BJP government. She is ready to make compromises to take our fight to the next level.”
Interestingly, last year, the national president of the Janata Dal (Secular), Deve Gowda had said, “I completely support Rahul Gandhi’s candidature to become Prime Minister.”
The difference in the opinions of father-son duo, Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy, exposes the shrink in the armor of the opposition. It is suggestive of the fact that the so-called united opposition is already having cracks within. There appears no consensus in terms of choosing the PM candidate among several aspirants of the post. Many anti-BJP parties of the proposed Mahagathbandhan are not willing to work under the inept leadership of Rahul Gandhi. One of the anti-BJP leaders, Mamata Banerjee’s ambitions to become Prime Minister is not hidden from anyone. Mamata has tried to sideline Rahul Gandhi given his weak leadership and organisational skills. Other leaders of the anti-BJP coalition have their own reservations about the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
As far as the unity of opposition is concerned, the idea is not a new thing in India as it has kept floating before the general elections in the past as well. Earlier, various regional parties have also come together to oppose a particular person and a particular party and the end result of such alliances has always been very predictable. The most recent example of the collapse of opposition unity comes from the one that was formed in Bihar. The reason behind the failure of such coalitions is that parties come together to just fight against a particular person or a party without having any common ideology. Voters are not likely to be convinced to support the coalition as they are well aware of the luring tactics these parties apply.