As 2019 inches closer, our anticipation and excitement levels for the new Prime Ministerial candidates has increased manifold. In the wake of recent developments there should be no surprises *there* at all. Modi, who knows how to sway the public opinion has definitely played his cards right and is here to stay. However, 2 years is a long time for the tables to turn and other potential candidates need to up their game if they want to be heard over the Modi wave in the country. Let’s look at the the probable list of potential Prime Ministerial candidates for the 2019 elections:
Until about few weeks ago, it must’ve been safe to say that Nitish Kumar is a favourable Prime Ministerial candidate, considering his so called politically clean image. However, now it seems that his conflicting loyalties must have jeopardized his own political career owing to his ideological shift from the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ to the BJP. Even though he was reportedly heard saying that he has no aspirations to be the PM candidate for the 2019 elections, who can know for sure what the future holds in store for Nitish. Recently, BJP got a 1 way ticket into Bihar politics with the JD(U) breaking up alliance with Lalu Yadav and partnering with BJP making it easier for them to climb 1 more step towards getting a majority in the Rajya Sabha. Keeping the BJP’s history in mind, it is safe to ask whether BJP will promote Nitish Kumar as a leader or discard it as another one of its pawns, when the time comes.
An online petition carried out by change.org was doing the rounds a in July 2017, that petitioned for Shashi Tharoor to become India’s next Prime Minister. Having worked in the UN for more than 30 years and authored several books, the legal expert from Thiruvananthapuram has always maintained a pragmatic and modern image which has so far worked best for him. He has also managed to steer clear of all the allegations revolving around the mysterious death of his wife, Sunanda Pushkar. He could’ve been the apt candidate from UPA, however, replying to the petition, he made his stand very clear that even though he was humbled he did not support or endorse it. Guess only time will tell if the Congress makes him the PM candidate or not.
The Samajwadi party without much ado has declared Akhilesh Yadav as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the non-BJP front in 2019 elections. Even though his tenure can be a matter of deep scrutiny, it will be unfair to call it below average. His young and energetic personality goes well with his calm composure. His supporters even today stand tall with him. He has managed to wriggle out of his father’s shadow and carve out his own identity. His leadership has made caste-based politics passé. The people now want to focus on employment and development and can therefore relate more to Akhilesh than Mulayam Singh.
Mamta Banerjee seems to be faring pretty well and has managed to secure a spot in the race for potential Prime Ministerial candidates. She has openly criticised the Modi government on a lot of policies which has helped mobilise the opposition towards the same cause. The Trinamool Congress’ hold in West Bengal politics is very strong and it will take more than a Modi to impress the people of West Bengal. Mamta Banerjee is busy hobnobbing with the opposition leaders, accumulating their support. She recently met Sonia Gandhi and even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to discuss certain matters. Surely, her opposition game seems to be on fleek.