The 2019 general election has been seeing the opposition camp shifting into uncomfortable twists and turns from arch rivals SP and BSP forging an alliance of convenience to Raj Thackeray emerging as the new liberal hero, this election has been seeing it all. Out of the constituents of this opposition camp or which many are terming as ‘Maha Milawat’, Congress and its president, Rahul Gandhi, have evidently emerged as the biggest losers. The 2014 general elections saw Congress being reduced to its lowest tally with just 44 seats in the Lok Sabha. The subsequent assembly elections in various states had also pointed towards the continually decreasing political relevance of the grand old party.
However the Congress after gauging a repeat of their embarrassing defeat in the 2019 general election has been sending out feelers to the opposition camp and has indicated Rahul Gandhi’s withdrawal from the PM’s race. Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad talking to the media had said, “We have already made our stand clear. If a consensus is made in the favor of Congress, then the party will take the leadership but our aim has always been that NDA government shouldn’t come. We will go with the unanimous decision. We are not going to make an issue that we will not let anyone else become the PM, if it is not offered to us.”
These comments by senior Congress Leader have striking similarities with the formula that Congress had used in the 2018 Karnataka assembly elections. In the post poll formulation Congress, even after being the party with a greater number of seats, the CM’s post was given to JD(S) which had only 40 seats as compared to the 122 seats won by Congress.
Ghulam Nabi Azad had also added, “My party high command has already made it clear that the Congress is not averse to making a Prime Minister from any regional party” Congress withdrawing their claim to the top post even before the last phase of election has taken place, speaks lengths about the confidence it has in the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
Over the past few weeks leaders of the opposition camp have been scrambling to form a consensus over a post poll scenario. However with no ideological basis and based solely on power politics these comments by Ghulam Nabi Azad are sure to send waves of hope into many leaders who have been dreaming to take on the top post for long. If this hypothetical scenario of coalition plays out it will surely be one of the most turbulent times in Indian politics and Rahul Gandhi will likely step down. The thought of multiple power centers in the Central Government is enough to send shivers down the spine of various political analysts who have witnessed the colossal failures of such formulas in government formation based solely on power politics.
This coalition with Congress is also sure to witness unprecedented levels of dynasticism crippling the Indian government. With nephews, daughters and brothers of these political leaders being parachuted into important public offices ultimately pushing India’s progress back by decades.