There was an interesting development during the recent Rajya Sabha elections that went unnoticed by almost everyone. There is a growing rift brewing between the Congress party and the CPI(M) and in a development that will have a crucial impact in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi appears to have found a new ally in Mamata Banerjee.
We had earlier reported that the CPI(M) had approached the Election Commission to disqualify Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s nomination from West Bengal alleging that his nomination papers were forged. The CPI(M) had failed to secure the nomination for its own candidate after the TMC had agreed to support the candidate from the Congress party. Ironically enough, the Congress and the CPI(M) were allies heading into the 2016 Assembly Elections. The Chief Minister of Kerala, where the Left is in power, has also accused the Congress of bowing down to the RSS.
Mamata Banerjee has been in talks with Chandrababu Naidu, K Chandrasekhar Rao, Uddhav Thackeray and various other leaders from the regional parties. In her bid to dethrone Narendra Modi from power, the West Bengal Chief Minister has also met with unsavoury elements such as Hardik Patel. The impression thus far appeared to be a third front without the Indian National Congress as Rahul Gandhi is perceived to be a burden by many political parties. However, the recent Rajya Sabha elections indicate that the Congress party may well be a part of the rainbow coalition or at the very least, the coalition will have some sort of understanding with the Congress.
The biggest loser amidst all the realignment underway appears to be the Left Front. After a crushing defeat at the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party in its erstwhile bastion in the North East, Tripura. It appears that even secular parties believe that the Left is on a terminal decline. Thus far, there have been no overtures by any political party towards the CPI(M). Of course, it could be argued that the Trinamool Congress and the Left cannot be part of a single coalition but as the alliance between the Samajwadi Party and BSP shows, in politics, anything can happen.
Thus, the NDA will be battling a rainbow coalition of parties plus the Congress in 2019. The stage is set, it will be Hindutva versus the Secular Alliance for the General Elections next year.