Kolkata: Too many cooks spoil the broth. At a time when we see a ‘concerted’ effort on the part of the Opposition leaders to envisage a BJP-Mukt Bharat, personal ambitions seem to be impeding the move much to the delight of Narendra Modi and ilk.
Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Sharad Pawar and now an addition to the list -Nitish Kumar. Kumar’s inclusion may raise eyebrows since the Bihar CM is in alliance with the BJP in the state, but he is quite acclimatised to living with the turncoat moniker and wouldn’t hesitate even once to jump the ship.
Though Kumar has vehemently refuted any possibility of being a Prime Ministerial candidate, with his supporters vouching for him, it is crystal clear, he is on the verge of throwing his hat in the ring. Senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi has done a volte face and hailed Modi as the leader of the NDA after the former’s candid endorsement of Kumar as the man well suited to be the PM, opened a can of worms. But can it quell speculations?
So, we are back to square one! Yet again, a Federal Front is being set up to throw a challenge to the ruling regime, but yet again, the melee of leaders staking a claim to the PM post threatens to damp squib the effort.
We have seen it in the past – a PM without the numbers failing to consolidate his position at the top with his colleagues pulling the rug to dismantle the government – and chances of history repeating itself look bright.
VP Singh’s revolt was too hot to handle for the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress which caused its downfall but the latter struck back foisting a sulking Chandra Shekhar as the Prime Minister toppling the VP regime. But Chandra Shekhar’s run was short-lived with the same Congress withdrawing its support in a few months.
Rewind further, the first non-Congress government after Independence, limped first with Morarji Desai and later with Charan Singh. Here too, Charan Singh’s lust to be the PM did irreparable damage to the anti-Congress wave, resulting in Indira Gandhi’s return to power in 1980.
And let’s not forget the HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral governments which failed to complete a full term because of lack of unison among the stakeholders.
Cut to 2021, the road to the Delhi masnad would be tedious and full of roadblocks. If in the past, the front managed to sit on the treasury benches albeit briefly, the latest anti-establishment conglomerate looks to be on a sticky wicket. Any perceptible threat to the NDA government is not palpable as of now.
None of the spearheads of the front has been open about his or her dream, but with their respective parties setting the ball rolling, a massacre is on the anvil. The TMC trusts its supremo to be the Opposition face. The Congress wouldn’t let Banerjee gain any momentum. AAP’s Kejriwal, despite holding talks with Banerjee during her recent visit to the capital, is now trying to make inroads into her bastion. And with Kumar’s JD(U) entering the fray subtly, we are ‘spoilt for choice’. The perplexity exacerbates at their own peril.
A wry smile on Modi’s face cannot be ruled out as the shot at the coveted chair gets hilarious with time. Despite the fulminations over Modi’s ineptitude on several fronts, he still holds fort as the tallest leader in the country. The guileful Modi is waiting in the wings to orchestrate a feud within the front which could be its nemesis.
Senior Congress leader Kabil Sibal lauds Modi’s effort to evacuate stranded Indians from a turbulent Afghanistan, and it may not be puerile to expect that more such eulogies could follow suit.
Merely hurling barbs on various platforms isn’t lethal enough to give Modi a run for his money. United we stand – should be the mantra at the expense of blatant vendetta politics.
So, Didi and your compatriots, learn from history and act upon accordingly. Or else, you will end up making a mockery of yourselves! And you can ill afford such an ignominy.