Samajwadi Party (SP) chief, Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo, Mayawati have reportedly planned to skip attending the swearing-in ceremonies of Congress CM-designates, Kamal Nath, Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot in the three states where the Congress has recently won the assembly elections.
The decision of skipping the oath-taking ceremonies comes as a surprise, considering that the BSP has extended support to Congress in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan while SP has given its backing to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh. As per reports, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also will not attend the oath-taking ceremonies in any of the three states.
This comes as a stark contrast to the oath-taking ceremony of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, where all these leaders, including many other regional party leaders, had not only attended the ceremony but also had made grand statements of an powerful ‘united opposition to dethrone BJP from the center.
After several days of discussion, Congress has finally chosen the CM candidates for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chattisgarh respectively. While Kamal Nath has been selected to lead Madhya Pradesh, senior leader, Ashok Gehlot will head Rajasthan and Bhupesh Baghel has been chosen to be the CM of Chhattisgarh by Congress’ top leadership. The most popular face of the Congress party in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot has been, however, offered the post of Deputy CM.
While announcing her support to the Congress in both states, SP supremo, Mayawati had earlier, however, cleared that her party does not support Congress’ ideologies and policies and that the support extended was mere to prevent the BJP from grabbing power in both the states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Akhilesh Yadav had also reiterated the same, saying, his party’s support to the Congress in MP was only for the sake of keeping the BJP out. “We have lent support to the Congress in MP for the sake of democracy and secularism,” he had said.
This decision coming from the SP and BSP heads, somehow, further clears the perception of political parties like these, who have joined the so-called ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which the Congress is skillfully trying to constitute to take on BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This coalition, however, comes across as a stark compromise various parties with different ideologies are making just with the sole purpose to defeat Modi.
For this reason, perhaps, none of the major political parties who are pretending to support Congress for the outside, have ever accepted Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Ministerial candidate.
Earlier too, articulating the long-drawn ambition of Mayawati to become India’s Prime Minister after the 2019 general elections, the BSP had completely disregarded Rahul Gandhi as the next PM face.
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had too, earlier dropped hints that his party may not be in line to support Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s candidature for the Prime Minister’s post before the elections.
Yesterday, TMC, whose supremo has always been supportive of a ‘united opposition’, had lashed out at DMK chief, MK Stalin, who endorsed Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi for the prime ministerial post of the country.
Mamata Banerjee’s party has reportedly said that the entire opposition is taking Stalin’s remark very seriously and also stated that the prime ministerial candidate could only be decided post-2019 election results.
Earlier, NCP leader Sharad Pawar had also hinted that his party does not endorse the idea of Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate and stated that it should be decided only after the elections.
With so much under-current within all these parties teaming up, it would be interesting to see whether the so-called ‘Mahagathbandhan’ will be able to withstand these internal pressures in their quest to fight BJP before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections or would come tumbling down like a pack of cards.