Chennai: With a section of psephologists and political experts predicting a fractured mandate in the Lok Sabha elections 2019, results of which will be known 23 May, all eyes are on the heads of regional parties due to two post-poll scenarios:
1) These outfits may stitch together an alliance and come to power
2) Support of these parties would be crucial for the BJP or Congress to form the government
Hence, various arrangements are being worked out, both in the open and in the backroom, with the following leaders hogging the national limelight.
After the demise of his father M Karunanidhi, the master of alliance arithmetic under whose leadership the DMK shared power in the Centre for many years, M K Stalin now holds the steering of the party and it was he who first proposed the name of Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the Prime Minister’s post. Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekar Rao, the Chief Ministers of sister States Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, are in touch with Stalin for non-BJP front. But, in Stalin’s words, “It doesn’t seem to me that there is a chance for that (third font). However, that will be decided only after counting on 23 May.”
While her party, the Trinamool Congress, is an offshoot of the Congress, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, despite being a vocal opponent of the BJP, is a “good friend” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Her rally in West Bengal recently, which brought together Opposition leaders from across the country, was widely noticed and the performance of her party in the elections will decide her role in national politics.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP boss N Chandrababu Naidu, after a bitter fallout with the BJP, is now trying to play a key role in the formation of the next government at the Centre. Known for his proximity to various regional parties, including the DMK, Naidu’s only agenda, at this point of time, appears to be to unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The first Chief Minister of Telangana, TRS supremo K Chandrasekar Rao’s rise from nowhere to No. 1 is a case study for budding politicians. In competition with Naidu, Rao wants to build an alliance that will dominate Delhi. But he also faces the charge of being BJP’s ‘B-team’.
Once predicted as an alternative to the BJP and Congress, the role of Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is now limited to the northern belt, especially Delhi. The Delhi Chief Minister is hoping big that the election results would up his stakes in national politics.
‘UP’ & DOWN
Uttar Pradesh had decided many a time who should rule the country. To take on the mighty BJP which swept the polls there in 2014, archrivals BSP and SP have forged an alliance. The fate of Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav will be known 23 May.
GAME OF GOWDA
Lady luck smiled bright on H D Deve Gowda in the 1990s when the regional satrap became the Prime Minister of India. He is expecting another such miracle in 2019. But, the JD(S) government in Karnataka, headed by his son Kumaraswamy, is now backed by the Congress.