DMK chief M.K. Stalin’s pitch for Congress President Rahul Gandhi as candidate for the prime minister’s post in the 2019 elections continued to keep the feathers ruffled in the opposition camp with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav saying it may not be the opinion of the alliance.
“People — farmers, youth and others — are unhappy with the BJP and want its government to go. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had initiated steps earlier for a national coalition. The efforts would continue. It is not necessary it (Stalin’s proposal) is the alliance opinion. But BJP need not worry. People in Uttar Pradesh are ready to defeat you,” Akhilesh said in Lucknow.
“The people of the country are unhappy with the BJP and that it why the Congress got success in three states. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar and others had tried to bring all the leaders together to form an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. If someone (Stalin) is giving his opinion on the PM candidate, it is not necessary that all alliance partners have the same opinion,” Akhilesh Yadav said.
However, the DMK maintained it was within its rights to propose Gandhi’s name as the real alternative to the BJP whose government was keen on imposing one culture, one religion and one language on the country.
NCP leader and MP, Majid Memon, said there was panic in the BJP camp. You ask Rahul Gandhi. He has himself made it absolutely clear that it will be decided after elections. It is people’s mandate… whoever gets the largest number of seats, it is for them to decide their leader.”
DMK spokesperson Manu Sundaram said he was happy that his leader’s proposal has set the cat among the BJP’s pigeons. Stalin’s statement was a reflection of the larger view within the DMK that Rahul Gandhi would provide a viable alternative leadership after the last four and a half years of BJP rule which was keen on foisting one culture, one religion and one language.
“I don’t expect all political leaders to hold this view. Ultimately we will go by consensus, if not by the democratic process of election. The issue has not been discussed in the alliance. In fact, the grand alliance does not exist at the national level. At the moment it is only there in various states. The DMK doesn’t need anybody’s permission (to propose leadership),” Sundaram said.
(With agency inputs)