The much talked-about and much awaited visit of Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to Kolkata to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerji had failed to give the expected results. What is seen and heard says that it is not so easy for Chandrababu Naidu to build a strong anti-BJP national alliance. The very postponement of the November 22 conclave in Delhi to December itself says that things are not easy.
There is UPA led by the Congress as an alternative to the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. The UPA’s prime minister candidate Rahul Gandhi may not give up his claim for the top post just because Chandrababu Naidu had joined them. Interestingly, this time, Mamata Benerji and Mayawati too have joined the race for the top slot. It is for this reason that caused some differences Mayawati is going alone in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan elections without Congress.
According to what is heard from Kolkata on Monday indicates that Mamata Benerji wanted her candidature to be backed by Chandrababu Naidu. As majority of the leaders are already with the Congress, including Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, it is not easy for Naidu to name Mamata, ignoring Rahul Gandhi.
Both Mamata and Naidu said that every leader is the face of this alliance as all of them were senior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They said that naming the leader at this point of time was not important for them, thus keeping aside the key issue for want of consensus. Even if they meet again in December, just before the beginning of the Winter Session of Parliament, reaching consensus on the prime minister candidate is not an easy task. This weakness is seen as strength for the BJP, as most of the NDA leaders claim it.
If these leaders are serious in building a strong anti-BJP alliance at the Centre and defeat Narendra Modi, they should accept the leadership or the candidature of Rahul Gandhi. There are only a few regional parties which oppose BJP are with the Congress-led UPA. It is only the TDP, BSP, SP and TMC which are to decide. These four parties would have to make sacrifices on the top job leaving it to the majority anti-BJP parties.
If this happens, then Chandrababu Naidu’s dreams of the grand alliance will become a reality. Otherwise it would remain a dream.