Battle 2019: NaMo’s rival to be faceless

New Delhi: The opposition, which is planning to forge a joint front to counter Narendra Modi in the 2019 general elections, has decided to make the electoral battle ‘Modi versus faceless.’

Congress, the biggest opposition party, has consented to this strategy. The party had tried to project Rahul Gandhi as the joint opposition’s prime ministerial candidate. However, the proposal evoked cold response from the other opposition parties. Now, the official stand of the Congress is that the Mahagathbandhan would choose its leader after the elections.

No one will be able to match Modi

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Political strategists feel that this was the best bet for the opposition. Sanjay Kumar, director of Centre for Studies of Developing Societies says, “It will be good for the opposition parties if they do not project any one as the prime ministerial candidate. It will difficult for them to arrive at a consensus on the issue. This will, of course, give the NDA a handle to beat the NDA with, but it is also fact that no individual will be able to match Modi.”[/box]

Mamata’s ‘JUDGE’

The West Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee has proposed ‘JUDGE’ formula for taking on Modi where J stands for jobs, U for under-performance, D for demonetisation, G for GST and E for Economy.

What they say

Who will become the leader of the Mahagathbandan will be decided after the elections – Shashi Tharoor, Congress

The captain is not chosen before the team is formed. Let the team be formed. The leader will be decided – Akhilesh Yadav, SP

The leaders of many of our alliance partners are fit to be the PM. I am not at all interested in the position – Chandrababu Naidu, TDP

We will resolve the leadership issue once BJP and Modi are out of the way. We want to build a India we love – Derek O’Brien, Trinamool Congress

Past instances

  • 1977: There was no face against Indira Gandhi. After elections, Morarji Desai was chosen as the PM
  • 1988: The opposition had not projected anyone as its PM candidate against Rajiv Gandhi. After elections, VP Singh was elected as the leader.
  • 1991: There was no Congress face against Chandrashekhar. After Congress victory, PV Narasimha Rao was elected as leader.
  • 2004: The Congress had not projected any PM candidate against AB Vajpayee. After polls, Dr Manmohan Singh became the PM.

(Story: Mukesh Kaushik, Aniruddh Sharma)