Among entire opposition parties of India if there is any leader who is taking on Modi and BJP in upcoming Lok Sabha election it is none other than Mamata Banerjee!
The entire opposition is leaderless and directionless in India after 2014 LS elections. The winning spree of BJP barring some exceptions in India has really unnerved and demoralized the opposition. UPA led by Sonia Gandhi too has become dormant. The total rout in West bengal elections and loss of state one after another has come as a big blow to UPA in general and Congress in particular.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is dismissed as a non-serious politician even by the Congress leaders. The so-called G-32 group in Congress which consists of Gandhi family loyalists like Kapil Sibal, Gulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma are indirectly demanding the change of leadership in the party. In other words, they are covertly demanding that Rahul should not be made AICC president again. This has led to the internal squabble in the party and as usual these leaders have been sidelined. But new AICC president is yet to be chosen and Sonia is the ad-hoc president of the party even now.
This has caused much heartburn among the UPA constituents. Congress being a national party has natural claim over the leadership of UPA. But with a leader who causally does the politics, stay in foreign countries most of the time and a non-effective speaker who cannot attract new voters to the party has become a liability for UPA, aco0rding to some leaders. Now Mamata is trying to cash on the weakness of Congress leadership by literally hijacking the UP constituent.
After her resounding victory in West Bengal Mamata seems to be overconfident that she would give a run to BJP’s money power and will defeat that party all over India as she did in WB. For that she has opted for a very calculated political move and trying to expand her base all over India by bringing in Congress leaders into party in different states. She has eyed on North-East, West and South and even entered the election politics in Goa. She has welcomed Leander Paes and some Congress leaders in her party. In Meghalaya she was successful in getting former Chief Minister Mukul Sangam in her party.
On Wednesday she visited Mumbai and had meeting with Sharad Pawar. After that she held a meeting of ‘intellectuals’, activists, artists and Bollywood stars to discuss the present political scenario in the country. She had invited Shiv Sens, NCP to her meeting but Congress was left out, which was clear indication that she was trying to occupy the space of Congress in the anti-BJP alliance. It is to be noted that Congress is running an alliance government in Maharashtra with NCP and Shiv Sena. Much to charge-in she indirectly taunted Congress by saying where is UPA? She even criticized Rahul Gandhi without naming him by calling him a leader who spends time in foreign countries instead of fighting BJP on its turf.
These are all the clear indication that Mamata is trying to break UPA and in a process to occupy the space of Congress. But is it so easy? At present situation Mamata is not a vote catcher outside WB and she has no appeal in rest of the country. Second question is whether all UPA constituents accept her as their leader instead of Gandhi family? And even if they accept will people of the country accept her as a PM candidate who would be an alternative to Modi?
At present political scenario it seems to be next to impossible. Despite this Mamata is busy in carving out a space for national politics. It is to be seen whether it would consolidate anti-BJP votes in her favor or end up in dividing UPA by giving more fillip to the BJP in the national level.