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Many alliance leaders ready to back Rahul’s PM dream

While some ambitious leaders might pose hurdles in Rahul Gandhi path to the prime ministership, there are others who are keen to back him and his big dream. Leaders who also have their eyes set on the most coveted post in India consider Rahul as their competitor and are consistently working on a strategy to push him to the margins in the grand alliance. However, at the same time, Rahul enjoys the support of regional stalwarts, who don’t dream big are not hesitant in supporting him as the next Prime Minister. The DMK’s Stalin has no desire to be a part of the politics of the Centre. He wants to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and has hence been supportive of Rahul’s PM candidature. Without thinking about any of the regional stalwarts, Stalin declared that Rahul Gandhi would become the PM candidate as he has the capability to stop the BJP. Even Tejashwi Yadav has no qualms about backing Rahul, neither does Akhilesh Yadav, who has on several occasions, given statements in Rahul’s favor. But it should be noted that this time, Akhilesh has a compulsion — Mayawati. She considers herself as a PM candidate and Akhilesh has to go with her in Uttar Pradesh. So, Akhilesh can’t declare Rahul as the PM candidate or he would face the wrath of Mayawati. That is why, perhaps, Akhilesh said that a decision will be taken after the results. Sharad Pawar is the only exception; he has big ambitions yet he is ready to accept Rahul Gandhi as his leader. He feels that it is better to have good relations with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress, so if the need arises, Rahul might propose his name for the PM’s post.

VARUN GANDHI’S NEXT MOVE

Many leaders of the Congress are putting their weight behind Varun Gandhi’s entry into the party. Though this is a fact that Rahul and Priyanka share a good relationship with him, and the three meet frequently, Varun is not willing to join the Congress solely due to his mother, Maneka Gandhi. It was being speculated that Varun might join the Congress in December. It is also being said that this time, he would not fight the Lok Sabha Elections on a BJP ticket. If the BJP doesn’t give a ticket to Varun, then it seems highly unlikely that Maneka will continue in the party. On the other hand, the new Madhya Pradesh CM, Kamal Nath, has shown sympathy towards Sanjay Gandhi, after which people are speculating that he might be able to coax Varun to join the Congress. When Kamal Nath had become the State party president, he had put up Sanjay Gandhi’s photo in his room. When he was elected as leader of the CLP, Sanjay Gandhi’s cutouts were put up in Bhopal along with those of Sonia and Rahul. It is noteworthy that Kamal Nath and Sanjay Gandhi were close friends, and Indira Gandhi called Kamal her “third son”. Now, Kamal Nath has brought Sanjay Gandhi into mainstream politics. The next logical step would be Varun’s entry into the Congress.

AGE BRACKET OF CMs

Many comparisons are being drawn between the CMs of States ruled by both the BJP and Congress, and one parameter is their age. The BJP has mostly put forward new faces, choosing 60-plus CMs in very few States. Four CMs of the BJP are under the age of 50 — Yogi Adityanath, Devendra Fadnavis, Pema Khandu, and Biplab Kumar Deb — and some others have not crossed 60. Some of them, like Raghubar Das, was 60 when they became CM and have now crossed that age. Manohar Parrikar and Manohar Lal Khattar are exceptions. Shivraj Singh Chouhan continued as CM for 13 years but didn’t complete 60 years. On the other hand, despite many options, the Congress preferred its veterans. Kamal Nath is 72 years old and Ashok Gehlot is 67. Bhupesh Baghel is, of course, younger than these two. Last year, the Congress had won elections in Punjab where it had made 76-year-old Captain Amarinder Singh the CM. In 2016, the party had won in Puducherry where 71-year-old Velu Narayanasamy is the CM.

‘Ghar wapsi’ of the BJP?

People are now debating whether the BJP will return to its old headquarters, claiming it is only getting bad news after moving into the one on DDU Marg. Not only that, party leaders and journalists are keeping away as it is not easy to reach there and security is tight. PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated the headquarters on February 18, 2018. He had congratulated Amit Shah for getting it ready in record time. Soon after that, the party moved into the new building, vacating its decades-old HQ at 11, Ashok Road. After moving into the new HQ, the BJP got its first shocker in the form of defeat in byelections of Phulpur and Gorakhpur — seats that belonged to CM Yogi Adityanath and Deputy

CM KP Maurya — in March.

The BJP got its second jolt in May, when it lost the Lok Sabha byelection in Kairana, and fell short of a majority in Karnataka. Despite that, the BJP formed the Government in Karnataka but could not prove majority and BS Yeddyurappa had to submit his resignation. After that, the Congress and JDS grabbed power in Karnataka. Recently, the Lok Sabha byelections were held on three seats in Karnataka, but the BJP managed to save only one — that of Yeddyurappa. The Congress snatched the prestigious Bellary seat from the BJP. In the Assembly Elections of five States, the BJP lost power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. In MP and Chhattisgarh, the BJP had been in power for the past 15 years. In Telangana, the BJP was hopeful of a good show, but the number of its MLAs went down from five to one. The BJP also suffered personal losses in the form of ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Ananth Kumar, and MP Bhola Singh.

The Partners Of NDA

As soon as the results of Assembly polls in five States were out, the disposition of the NDA’s partners seemingly changed. Some of them had been unhappy for the past few months, but those who were earlier standing unconditionally with the BJP are also frowning. Allies like the Akali Dal, RPI, JDU, and LJP are now trying to position themselves. The RLSP has already announced it will part ways with the BJP. OP Rajbhar is also showing signs of discontent. The Shiv Sena will not leave the bandwagon but will continue its strategy of inflicting maximum harm at the same time. However, soon after the results, it was the JDU which changed its color. Chirag Paswan, son of Ram Vilas Paswan, has also sent out a stern message. The Akali Dal, which is the oldest ally of the BJP, has advised the BJP and the Government to take care of the minorities as they are feeling insecure. It seems that the BJP should gear up for big jolts from its allies — from Bihar to Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra to Assam. Read more posts… Sunday, 23 December 2018 | Hari shankar vyas | in Gup Shup

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