The Bahujan Samaj Party has said yesterday that Rahul Gandhi cannot aspire to become the Prime Minister of the country because of his mother’s foreign origin. According to reports, the party has pushed its leader Mayawati’s name as a Prime Ministerial candidate.
BSP’s national coordinators Vir Singh and Jai Prakash Singh stated yesterday at the worker’s conference of the party that Mayawati is the only one who can ‘take on’ PM Modi and it is the high time she became the Prime Minister of the country. Jai Prakash Singh reportedly stated that Mayawati has emerged as a powerful politician in the country after playing the pivotal role in making HD Kumaraswamy the CM of Karnataka and she is the only ‘dabang’ who can stop the winning spree of Modi-Shah duo.
Speaking about Rahul Gandhi, Singh reportedly stated that Rahul looks more like his mother than his father and his mother is a foreigner, hence he cannot become the PM. On the other hand, Singh added, Mayawati is a grassroots level leader who has become the CM of Uttar Pradesh 4 times.
Previously in May, Mayawati was also projected as the PM candidate for the party in their national executive committee meeting. Yesterday’s worker’s conference was the first to be held in preparation for the 2019 general elections and the party is reportedly keen to project its national image.
BSP’s rejection of Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate is another blow for the ‘united opposition’ being proposed at political circles. A glimpse of the United opposition was witnessed during the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy when Sonia Gandhi was seen sharing some cordial time with Mayawati.
BSP’s stand and criticism of Congress in yesterday’s conference have also generated questions about its possible tie-up with Congress in the upcoming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. A report in the Times of India states that while BSP wants an ‘all or none’ package deal tie up, Congress state units in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan are not keen on a tie-up with BSP. Madhya Pradesh Congress unit is, however, desperately wants BSP’s support to seal Dalit votes in the state.
The great enthusiasm and ceremonial chest thumping Congress staged during HD Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony was meant as a message to the BJP. Rounding up all regional and non-BJP leaders from all over the country was even hailed as the winning formula the Congress should follow to dislodge the BJP from power in the upcoming national elections.
However, with Mayawati making her stand clear, Congress’ position as the leader of the united opposition looks dicey. Even Mamata Banerjee had dropped subtle hints about the importance of regional leaders and her statements in the past have indicated that she may not be very interested in seeing Rahul Gandhi as the PM candidate of the united opposition front.
Democracy wins. Congratulations Karnataka. Congratulations DeveGowda Ji, Kumaraswamy Ji, Congress and others. Victory of the ‘regional’ front
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 19, 2018
Subtle propositions for Mamata Banerjee‘s candidature for the PM post has also started. It was Mamata who has been reaching out to other state-level leaders like Uddhav Thackeray and Chandrababu Naidu.
The BSP does not have the representation in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha needed to make a national stand. Even though, banking on their hold in state-level politics, if they are willing to make their stand on PM candidate clear, rejecting Rahul Gandhi’s eligibility, it remains to be seen how far other regional leaders will go to support the Congress prince. In Congress, the leadership of the Gandhi family is by default and without question, but as the Lok Sabha elections draw closure, it is likely that the Congress will wake up to the harsh reality that regional parties do not rally behind to cater to its whims and dictatorship anymore.
With its Prince being denied the crown, whether the Congress will be willing to take the support of regional parties is another pertinent question.