Indian PM Narender Modi swept the nation in the 2014 elections, however now he would be facing a potential candidate in 2019. In recent times, the newly anointed Janta Dal (JDU) President and the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has given enough indications that he might stand for elections as Prime Ministerial candidate.
The Bihar CM has already given a clarion call to establish a ‘Sangh-mukt Bharat (Sangh-free India)’. His party machinery has already been activated to hold parleys with other regional and smaller outfits such as AUDF, JMM, AAP, RLD, TMC and TRS. Talks are also on with the Left parties. Currently, the Bihar CM is also seen keen to “accommodate” the Congress to form a larger alliance in the state to counter the BJP, especially in the forthcoming UP elections.
The Bihar CM would certainly tap on social discontent and would attempt to forge a power social coalition against Modi in 2019 trying to bring anti-BJP campaign to the foray. Nitish is also known for his calm and thoughtful stance on varied issues, his image of being a leader with maturity and a simple person close to the roots of his land.
The other leader who took the country with storm by his demand to change the corrupt system is Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP Party President. His national ambitions are no secret. Arvind Kejriwal is the same candidate, who fought against Modi from the Varanasi parliamentary seat during 2014 Lok Sabha elections. His party AAP also put candidates all across the nations, with achieving success only in the state of Punjab.
Kejriwal has also recently shown his concern for Delhi by applying his unique odd-even policy to ease of the traffic and the pollution and is slowly building hid image as a person who can voice his mind without the fear of consequences. The Delhi chief minister had lend his political muscles on several occasions to the liberal middle class and has built an ideologically flexible party that can potentially dent the ruling BJP vote base. Kejriwal’s anti-BJP politics also conveys that he is offering a form of opposition that the main opposition party Congress is unable to provide at the moment. His party AAP might also require the support of Congress to oust BJP in the upcoming elections in Punjab in 2017.
Though, off late Kejriwal’s own candidates later became talk of the town by indulging in various controversies however he still stands on his demand of simple governance.
What we see in future is lot of alliances happening to stop BJP win elections in various states to weaken their national base. It will depend on how well the Prime Minister Modi can spin the nation to his side by showcasing his government achievements under his leadership.
It certainly looks like both leaders have decided to get out of the confines of state/regional politics and reiterate that they are national politicians that Narendra Modi has to reckon with.