Telugu Desam Party supremo and AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu took the lead in projecting Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamatha Benerji as the champion of the new front in the national politics. Chandrababu Naidu went to Kolkata to see Mamatha and lend her his support as she was on a protest against the Central government’s witch-hunt. Naidu helped her to call off her protest as the Supreme Court had directed Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar to attend the questioning by the CBI in an infamous chit fund scam.
Mamatha followed Chandrababu Naidu in challenging the Centre by rejecting the CBI. It was Chandrababu Naidu who had first withdrew the general consent given to the CBI to take up corruption cases against the Central government officials and the officials of the all India services. The West Bengal chief minister who is also opposed to the BJP at the Centre too borrowed the idea from her AP counterpart and had been opposing it.
Standing tall among the Opposition parties, particularly those who are against the BJP, Mamatha is claiming to be the face of the new coalition at the Centre ahead of the 2019 general elections. Chandrababu Naidu went one step forward to name her as the leader of the national alternative to the BJP and the Congress. Though Naidu is very much present with the Congress and seen moving around with them, he seems to have accepted Mamatha’s initiative to be the face of the Opposition for the Prime Minister slot.
In fact, Mamatha had been battling for the top slot for the past some time and had tried up push her candidature forward when the non-BJP leaders started meeting to build a strong opposition. However, the Congress did not approve it. Even the BSP too did not accept Mamatha’s candidature as Mayawati too had set her eyes on the PM slot.
Now, Mamatha’s fight against the BJP in the name of CBI had given her an edge among the non-BJP leaders to stake claim for the post. Chandrababu Naidu said that Mamatha has all qualities to be the Prime Minister and she is the right candidature to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the elections.
However, it is to be seen whether the Congress and other parties would accept Naidu’s proposal for Mamatha or would reject and go for re-alignment. If they go for re-alignment, it will be a big trouble for Chandrababu Naidu to choose between Mamatha and Rahul Gandhi.