May 23, the day of counting for this round of general elections to Parliament, is not too far. It is just a fortnight away from now, when the country decides on its next prime minister. The war is strong with Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the NDA fighting it out to retain power, while the opposition too is giving a tough fight to keep Narendra Modi out of power, though it is divided.
The big question now doing the rounds in the country, though two more phases of election is still to go, will it be the NDA 4 at the Centre with Narendra Modi as the prime minister or will it be NDA 4 with some other BJP leader as prime minister candidate. There is some resistance to the leadership of Narendra Modi within the BJP and the NDA as well. If the BJP and the NDA fall short of numbers and if the parties like Telugu Desam are to back the BJP, it has to change the candidature. If Modi is dropped from the candidature, parties like TDP in Andhra Pradesh, DMK in Tamil Nadu have no problem with the BJP. It is here the candidatures of Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari have come to the forefront just before the election schedule was released. Several parties oppose Narendra Modi for the second term, while they have no problem with the BJP. It is here that the BJP would have to think of change of leadership if the party falls short of numbers. In such a case, it would be NDA 4 without Narendra Modi.
Then there is another question doing rounds. This is about the UPA 3 coming to power at the Centre after this round with Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister. But, as it appears, the Congress and the UPA alone would not be able to get the required numbers to stake claim. The Congress and the UPA would have to depend on the parties like TDP, Trinamool Congress, BSP, SP and others who are right now not part of the UPA. There is also strong contention for the prime minister post from Mamatha Benerji and Mayawati. If Congress and the UPA wants to keep Modi out of power, Rahul Gandhi would have to compromise and sacrifice his leadership and accept the candidature of either Mamatha or Mayawati. As of now, the candidature of Mamatha is strong with more parties backing her leadership.
However, it is to be seen what strategy that the BJP and the Congress adopt after the May 23 counting. It is the strategy of these two parties, which is set to determine the next government.