Till a few months ago, none had ever imagined that there will be so much speculation over the fight for the baton of being the next Prime Minister of India as the fight was expected to be a dual one with the candidates being Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, the fresh face of the laid-down Congress. But with Aam Aadmi Party coming to power in the capital, it remains to be seen what impact they have on the Lok Sabha elections due later this year.
The Prime Minister’s remark that he’ll give the responsibility to a new one after 2014 elections has paved the way for the Congress Leaders expressing their desire to project the party vice president Rahul Gandhi in the chair after Manmohan Singh. Prime Ministerial nominee or not, it can be said that he is going to be the prime face of Congress in the coming Lok Shaba elections as he has been taking a more active stance on issues after the party’s debacle in the assembly polls in four states, being one of the most important in-party faces supporting the Lokpal bill and has also articulated his economic vision at an event organized by a business chamber. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has officially declared Gujarat CM Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate with Namo wave blowing heavily and constantly getting huge response in the rallies being held at different parts of the country. Modi has been constantly targeting Congress while addressing huge crowds, specially Rahul Gandhi on issues like price-rise and corruption of Congress leaders bleeding the nation dry. However, for Modi the biggest asset remains a well entrenched BJP cadre and RSS machinery both in the urban and rural hinterland, at least in north, central and western India.
But what was thought till now to be a direct fight between Congress and BJP to snatch power in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections has got an entirely new aspect with AAP changing the orientation of the set-pieces and entering the arena. The resounding AAP success in Delhi has had its reverberations felt in other parts of the country, especially in urban India and the membership drive is in full swing with senior corporate leaders and prominent journalists also entering their fray. And with AAP’s successful couple of weeks ever since forming the Delhi Government, suggestions have started coming from within the AAP for projecting Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as the prime ministerial candidate. Though AAP’s winnability quotient outside Delhi remains untested, analysts said and noted that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would also make its presence felt in the polls through its rising star, Arvind Kejriwal.
So the question that many are asking with Congress on the defensive, is it now becoming a direct contest between Modi and Kejriwal or is it too early to say anything. But one thing is very clear that at least the rules of the games have been altered, credibility for once is as much a criteria as winnability.