Who can challenge Narendra Modi in North India-Nitish or Rahul?

Can Nitish Kumar or Rahul Gandhi challenge Narendra Modi in North India which to great extent decides the fate of Indian politics?

Before the Lok Sabha elections, one thing became abundantly clear: the path to Delhi’s throne leads through Uttar Pradesh. This also seems practical because there are 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. For decades, the Congress and BJP have succeeded or failed in striving for supremacy over the region. Before the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi made the decision to leave his home state and become a candidate from Varanasi, and in 2019, on its strength, along with the whole of North India, the East and South India also benefited. Mulayam Singh Yadav and his supporters did not dream of becoming Prime Minister on the strength of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar since the power struggle of V.P. Singh and Mulayam was decided before the name of Inder Kumar Gujral, then the Marxist Communist leader. Opportunity lost Only once in the last 75 years, in 1977, the name of Bihar’s Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, who rebelled against the Congress, came up for consideration seriously, but Jayaprakash Narayan, the leader of the Janata Party, stamped the claim of the old rebel Congressman Morarji Desai. Now the Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar, who was undeclared before the 2024 elections, is being projected as the prime ministerial candidate. How possible is this revolutionary change?
The late Lalu Prasad Yadav and his successor, Tejashwi Yadav, are at the forefront of breaking the love-hate link by raising the flag of giving Bihar the Prime Minister. After the court sentence and jail in the fodder scam, Lalu was away from the throne of power long ago, but his vote bank is still safe. This is the reason why Nitish Kumar has left the strong hand of the BJP and has taken a gamble to take his ride on the shoulders of the Yadav family. Surrendering himself in closed rooms and in public, he has promised to hand over the chief minister’s post to Tejashwi Yadav. In a survey conducted by India News this week, more than 62 percent of people believed that Nitish Kumar would give Tejashwi Yadav the crown of power even before he starts the campaign to get the post of Prime Minister. The question is, like in the Vidhan Sabha elections, will the people of Bihar support Nitish-Yadav’s parties-alliance in all 40 seats? There will be a fight over seat distribution first, and then the Congress or other non-BJP parties will come in the posture of great sacrifice. Not only this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP will so easily make way for Nitish. They will not change the hearts and minds of the public by drumming up the pair’s failures and scandals.
For Nitish Kumar’s palanquin of Bihar, more important than the influential leaders and pulses of other states is neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, where the Congress-BSP are in a zero position today and Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party can give the biggest challenge to the BJP. The Yadav families of both the states have been trying to share power, but have they ever been able to get votes for themselves in each other’s states? Never.The next point is Lalu’s offer of a compromise with the Congress by Nitish. Akhilesh has not forgotten the wounds received from Congress in the last two elections, but the wounds start giving more pain when the cold wind blows. The same is the case with Rahul Gandhi. Sometimes he wants to play the card of Dalit president, sometimes as a Brahmin in a temple and a Muslim sympathiser in a mosque and madrasa. Sometimes we tear up the proposal brought by our government for the benefit of Lalu, sometimes insult Mulayam and his supporters in the courtyard of the Gandhi family. Now how will we take or give support from them? Previously, Congress Parliamentary Leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused Bengal lioness Mamata Banerjee of being willing to give Congress even a single seat in the elections. Naveen Patnaik turns 75. He has kept the Congress clean in Odisha and does not even afford any confrontation with the BJP. Rahul’s Congress horse in Kerala will stop it and injure it when the time comes. However, despite all this, Modi’s team and the BJP will have to work on the ground by aiming to get more seats than in 2019 in the 2024 elections.
The author is a Delhi-based
senior journalist.