The demand from regional party satraps to lead a united Opposition in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the gradual fade away of sibling rivalry has clearly gave an edge to M K Stalin, the 65-year-old president of the DMK and he seems to be on course of leaping to the stature of a king maker in the national politics.
Though Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is currently leading the race, Stalin could be the regional parties’ answer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, if the words of some of the leaders ~ who addressed the public meeting held at Chennai on Thursday in memory of former chief minister of Tamil Nadu late M Karunanidhi ~ are any indication.
In the meeting Farooq Abdullah, leader of the National Conference and former chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, urged Stalin to unite and lead the secular forces in the country against the BJP.
“Who is going to lead the flock? Stalin, I tell you. Lead us to the nation that Gandhi could not take us and Karunanidhi could not take us. Please take my children and grandchildren to an India where we can live with honour and dignity and walk with freedom,” said Abdullah who also alleged that the country was undergoing a regime of dictatorship.
The way regional parties pictured Stalin’s importance in the national politics, one could easily analyse that he will be a catalyst of a maha gat bandhan taking shape in Tamil Nadu.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and the senior leader of the Congress also declared that Stalin would be the ideal person to take on the BJP. “Under the leadership of Stalin, we will fight oppression and discrimination of the worst kind India has ever faced,” said Azad.
The words of these two leaders were played again and again by Kalaignar TV, the channel owned by the Karunanidhi family. Former Prime Minister Deve Gowda too paid rich compliments to Stalin, though he did not endorse the candidature of the latter for the post of Prime Minister.
Barring the BJP, leaders of all political parties who were present were vying with one another in praising Stalin and attacking Narendra Modi, though indirectly.
“Yes, it was an endorsement of Stalin as the Prime Ministerial candidate. He has all the qualities to be the Prime Minister of the country. Since the Opposition parties are yet to find out a suitable candidate, leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Azad had said Stalin should lead the country,” said A Saravanan, the DMK spokesman.