Ever since the Opposition parties have all gathered on dais at Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony, there has been a great noise about the formation of anti-BJP, a Secular Front to defeat Narendra Modi in 2019. Although Congress has been sending strong signals to join the front and wants to project Rahul Gandhi as the PM face, it is not getting support from several regional parties.
None other than Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP, which is playing crucial role in the front, openly stated that it is against to support Rahul as PM candidate and Naidu even ruled out of being in PM fray personally. Also, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee seems to have her apprehensions over naming Rahul as PM candidate. Amidst this, the hunt for a strong face to take on Narendra Modi is the need of the hour for the anti-Modi front.
That’s when former President and Congress senior leader Pranab Mukherjee’s name cropped up. While Pranab is not just a big name with vast experience, his West Bengal roots may impress Mamata Banerjee and Congress too may not finally say no since Pranab hails from Congress and has always revered as ‘loyalist’ to Gandhi family since he got his first break from Indira Gandhi when she made him Rajya Sabha MP in 1969 and later made him minister in her cabinet in 1973.
On the other hand, Pranab too has a strong desire to become the PM personally. He had expressed his interest to become PM openly in the past on several occasions. While he had been expecting to become PM, situations somehow didn’t favour him. Manmohan Singh was given the opportunity and Pranab had to settle with Finance Minister. Yet Pranab was seen as ‘No. 2’ in Manmohan’s government until he became India’s 13th President in 2012.
Now, talks have it that Pranab’s name as the face for alternative front is strongly considered. It is also speculated that Pranab is also directly in touch with the leaders of the Front and is constantly monitoring the situations.
Speculations are rife that Pranab had played role behind Mamata and KCR’s meet. It is also said Pranab had conducted talks with BJD chief and Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik. Meanwhile, Pranab also maintains close relation with ex PM and JD(S) supremo Deve Gowda along with BJP’s senior leader LK Advani.
Since there is a huge anti-Modi wave riding across the nation, the chances are high for Pranab to take on Modi with the support of all regional parties.