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Sharad Pawar – The Power Broker in 2019 elections

Politicians may put forth various types of opinion about 2019 general elections but by all possibility, the caste leaders to a maximum extent and religious leaders to a certain level must be having the last laugh. Most probably the politicians in their excitement to defeat PM Narendra Modi might not hesitate to stoop to any level that includes even playing swindle to caste/religious political parties and its sentiments. India is encouraging regional parties. In Maharashtra, Congress and NCP going hand in hand is inevitable, same is the scenario going to happen with Shiv Sena and BJP, as they both have no other option than remaining in alliance. None of these parties enjoy a complete majority. Moreover, this is the last chance for Sharad Pawar to fulfil his fantasies. Some collectively wants to defeat Modi and some have their own motives. In such a scenario, there are many problems that need urgent attention. Mamata Banerjee, Sharad Pawar, Chandrababu Naidu, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav all are seasoned politicians, and much more experienced too. They need to arrive at a consensus for nominating Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate. On the other hand, Uddhav Thackeray has to follow Modi, which he currently regrets. The combination could be anything but PM candidates are pre-decided at both the sides.

If at all some miracle happens and Sharad Pawar gets projected, as PM candidate then there is a possibility of change in voters’ mindset in Maharashtra. The Marathi sentiments may shift their loyalties. As a part of the Congress in the 1980s and 90s, Pawar was widely seen as a prime ministerial candidate, and while he was one of the strongest contenders in 1991 after former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s death, the party picked P.V. Narasimha Rao. In his book, Pawar blamed it on Sonia Gandhi, saying she feared his independent mind and thought his election to the post would not be good for the first family. Twenty-seven years after the missed opportunity, the PM’s post has continued to elude Pawar, and political spectators say 2019 could very well be the last opportunity for the septuagenarian. Pawar is aware that he cannot have the political ambition to be PM with just a handful of MPs from the NCP, but if the plan to bring opposition parties together works, he will have political capital as the architect of such an alliance. Pawar’s calculation must be that after 2019 elections, there could be some kind of a politically fluid situation, and opposition parties might accept his leadership. With him being the rallying point for all opposition parties, he will have better bargaining power with the Congress. Right now for dead Congress breathing is important at the cost of anything, even sacrificing the PM post.

Given the ground reality of too many political parties in the electoral arena, the Lok Sabha polls are likely to return a fractured verdict if Modi is not voters’ choice because of opposition parties uniting against him. A political scenario to the one prevailing in Karnataka political situation will arise with the difference that there will be several formations to share the cake of power. Even Mahagathbandhan will come into being only after Lok Sabha election results come out. We can witness unexpected opportunistic alliance government headed by a common opposition leader. Post Mahagath-bandhan is to get into power at any cost by politicians or parties rejected by people. That is what happened in Karnataka and the statement made by Kumaraswamy that he would be more loyal to Congress than people. He indicates that quite a large number of people may not like him or his party and still he can become CM and run the state. This is nothing but cheating the people in the name of democracy. And that is what BJP also did in Goa and Tripura. Politics these days is all about coming to power without caring for voter’s mandate or sentiments. This is going to be the new trend in the Indian politics.

The NCP is also likely to face an existential crisis after Pawar, with there being no undisputed second line of leadership, and such political equity will help him secure his party’s position. His daughter has proved her inefficiencies, she will not be able to take the control. Ajit Pawar is another corrupt leader that NCP has produced, and the party as its supremo will not accept him. Pawar knows that he has the most at stake. He is eyeing the position of a convener of the potential alliance. But if we look at an overall picture of 2019 elections, Pawar’s role will be interesting and crucial. The BJP, on the other hand, is assured that the scramble for an all-party alliance will not amount to much, regardless of Pawar’s involvement. Trying to put up a united fight is an old attempt of the regional opposition parties. Earlier, they would talk of consolidating against the Congress. Now, it is against the BJP. The only difference is that when it was against the Congress, issues such as corruption and lack of development drove the need for consolidation. The sentiment to consolidate against the BJP comes from insecurity, unrest and also corruption, only talks no delivery, policy paralysis and communal disharmony. BJP has failed its voters, people expected Modi to do magic. So now it’s not only opponents but also the voters moved from BJP and Modi. If the policies of government had failed then why there is a need for an alliance to rule out BJP in 2019? Why can opposition parties not elect a candidate for PM in 2019 election? Are they really afraid that BJP may retain power in 2019? People do not vote on the basis of historical happenings especially, the younger first-time voter generation. They go by what has been done in the near past. They are selective as per my assessment, being educated; they discuss amongst themselves and decide. This time it’s difficult to predict anything. We cannot definitely say that demonetisation and GST have gone down well with the people, not because the opposition parties say so. Hence, to assume that the votes are based on theorems put forward by a party is totally wrong. A last-minute popular change can turn the tables. This is a clear indication by the surveys going off the mark.


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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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