If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!

TNN Bureau. Updated: 5/11/2018 11:58:28 AM Features

Yet again the feathers of the ruling party -- BJP and some Opposition parties were ruffled by the announcement by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi that he could be the Prime Minister after 2019 polls if Congress emerges as the largest party in the Lok Sabha elections next year. There is nothing wrong in dreaming about becoming the Prime Minister of India, especially when the person dreaming about it is heading a party which has ruled this country for decades. Some quarters in BJP termed this statement of Rahul Gandhi as his arrogance.

It is wrong to call it arrogance. He has as much a right to ascend that chair as any other citizen of this country. After all, we do have a chai wallah, who has risen to the post of prime minister of the greatest democracy in the world and Narendra Modi does not tire about highlighting his humble beginnings. BJP should also not forget that it is Modi who calls Rahul Gandhi shehzada or crown prince. So, it is but natural that Rahul Gandhi would tend to dream with his eye open considering that there is no other alternative no matter how much a section of the citizens of this country dislike him and ridicule him.

Can BJP or anyone else deny how many politicians in this country secretly nourish the dream of becoming the prime minister of India? Not many may have spoken openly about their ambition of running this democratic country, but it is no secret who all think that they could and should become Prime Minister. Knowledgeable citizens of this country do not need a reminder who all in the past and present wish to occupy the chair. Quite a few among the top BJP leaders could also be thinking on these lines but for obvious reasons cannot say it aloud.

However, the current issue is not about who else wishes to become Prime Minister.

Rahul Gandhi had said it first in September last year while speaking to students in Berkley. He had said that he was “absolutely ready” to be the Prime Minister. Even though he has repeated this desire of his, it will remain a wish because it stands to logic that Congress would have to emerge as the largest party in the Lok Sabha in 2019. The past few years have clearly shown that this is not a likely scenario that would emerge post 2019 polls. If at all Rahul Gandhi’s wish comes true that it would be more due to luck and not by any design. So far nothing that Rahul Gandhi has done goes to show that he is capable of rallying his own flock, let alone the other Opposition parties, to lead the battle against Prime Minster Narendra Modi and his party.

The majority of other Opposition parties, which want to keep equidistance from both, the BJP and Congress and are working for a Third Front or Federal Front, have already indicated in not so many words that they would not want to work under Rahul Gandhi. So, it is imperative for Rahul Gandhi to ensure that his party emerges as the largest party in 2019, which, going by his track record in the past four years, is not likely to happen until and unless the Opposition unites as it had done in Bihar.

Congress has, by and large, emerged as a clueless party which is hoping that people’s anger against all the misadventures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government would propel it into the driving seat and the crown prince would become the king. The Congress and its president can dream on because in 2014 even 69 per cent voters who rejected the BJP could not prevent Narendra Modi from going on to become Prime Minister with a thumping majority. Only recently, the Congress could have formed a government in Goa but it was beaten to the finish line by the BJP which went on the stage a minor coup and form the government there.

In Meghalaya, too, the Congress was unable to form the government with BJP quickly manoeuvering itself in a winning position, and ultimately, getting its man to be the chief minister. The key factor is how and who would be able to electrify the electoral campaign during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be the Prime Minister.

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