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February 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.    Wishing You All a Happy New Year.       February 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:January' 2018

RACE FOR PMO

Many aspirants, none stronger than Modi

Subhrangsu Gupta from Kolkata

According to a political commentator in Bhopal, who is said to be close to MP’s ex- Chief Minister of the BJP, “Upper class anger is not about reservation. It is about the ‘Atrocities Act.’

2020 US presidential candidates Ahead of the US presidential election in 2020, India will have an impressive political race for the Prime Minister's post some time in May-June 2019.
In the US, the incumbent President Donald Trump is again the Republican candidate for the presidency. The African-Indian origin 54-year-old lawyer Senator Kamala Harris (her mother Syamalaya Gopalan, a cancer specialist, is a resident of Chennai and her father Donald J Harris , hailing from Jamaica) as a Democratic candidate will take on Donald Trump

Another Hindu woman, Tulsi Gabbard(37), a US representative in the House of Commons, is also in the race.

There are other candidates -- both Democrats and republicans --- like Mike Pence, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand , Bob Corker, Larry Hogan, Bill Kristol, Jeff flake, Bob Corker, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, et al, also. The list has not been finalised.

The ruling BJP has already declared the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate for a second term. Modi's present term will expire in May 2019

Narendra Modi In India, the ruling BJP has already declared the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate for a second term.
Modi's present term will expire in May 2019.
But so far, no prime ministerial candidate has been officially declared from the Opposition side. Still, multiple names as prime ministerial candidates have come to the fore from the Opposition parties.

Rahul Gandhi Of them, the prominent are Congress president Rahul Gandhi, BSP leader Mayawati ,Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu.
Senior NCP leader Sharad Pawer, who had been a long -standing aspirant for the prime ministership, this time will not allow an opportunity, if it comes at all, to go unutilised.
Another prominent PM aspirant was Pranab Mukherjee. But he had to be satisfied with the presidential post in Lutyens' Delhi.

Of late, there has been large-scale erosion of Modi's popularity and the BJP has suffered defeats in the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh besides polls for local bodies. Still, the BJP reigns supreme as a political party which controls the governments, directly or indirectly, in many states.

And Modi, though unpopular to some extent, still reigns supreme.

Rahul Gandhi has not been officially announced as the Congress candidate for prime ministership, though he has been projected as the country's next Prime Minister.

Chandrababu Naidu Despite having some weaknesses, Rahul's plus point is that he has been already running the party successfully for many years as it's secretary and subsequently as president. Rahul has also proved his leadership quality in re-organising and streamlining the party from the grassroots level in different states.

Rahul says he would be fighting the elections not as a prime ministerial candidate. But after the elections if the Congress is in power and if the party leadership wants him, he will not be hesitating in taking over the responsibility of heading the government.

Mayawati The UP's "Bahenji ", too, is a formidable candidate. A four-time Chief Minister, the BSP's Mayawati (64) has been a Dalit leader. She publicly stakes her claim for prime ministership.
Her trusted aide and Rajya Sabha MP Satish Mishra claims that his leader ( Mayawati) has been a far better candidate than Rahul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee.
If a person like Narendra Modi can become Prime Minister, then any leader from any Opposition party can suitably place himself or herself in the Prime Minister's chair, observes the BSP leader.

Mayawati’s rise in politics was described as a "miracle of democracy " by former Congress Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.

A former JNU student with a legal background when she was preparing for her IAS examination, her mentor Kanshi Ram persuaded Mayawati to join the BSP for safeguarding the interests of the backwards, Dalits and other neglected and marginalised people.

We have had in our country a Dalit President, a Dalit Chief Justice of India, a Dalit Speaker in the Lok Sabha and now we want to see a Dalit Prime Minister with our leader Mayawati, BSP leader Mishra says.

Mamata Banerjee While Mamata Banerjee's followers have been publicly projecting herself as the country's next Prime Minister, she says the issue will be discussed and decided after the elections.
The BJP is contesting the election with Narendra Modi as their prime ministerial candidate, though there are other far better and competent leaders in the BJP, says Mamata. But Mamata also is not disinterested in the Prime Minister's chair. That is one reason why her target is to gain a maximum number of seats not only in West Bengal but in some other states too, particularly in the eastern and north-eastern states where her party has already built a strong political base.

She believes more seats mean more power which will enhance her position at the national level when she can direct and dictate government formation and ministry- making in Delhi.

But this time Mamata will face opposition in her home state not only from the BJP and the CPM but also from a section in the Congress, which is bound to hit the TMC's vote bank.

The Prime Minister has been trying to harass Mamata and her men by misusing the CBI and other agencies by implicating them in chit funds scams. The CBI is now acting at the instance of Ajit Doval, whose son is involved in moneylaundering and other illegal activities. Still the young Doval's case is not being enquired into by the CBI while many people who happen to belong to the anti-BJP camp are being harassed and arrested, Mamata has alleged.

The Prime Minister has been trying to harass Mamata and her men by misusing the CBI and other agencies by implicating them in chit funds scams. The CBI is now acting at the instance of Ajit Doval, whose son is alleged to have been involved in money-laundering and other illegal activities. Still, the young Doval's case is not being enquired into by the CBI while many people who happen to belong to the antiBJP camp are being harassed and arrested, Mamata alleges.

However, the CPM is not supporting Modi's misusing of the CBI for protecting the BJP's vested interests. They are also not supporting Mamata's handling of the situation politically, says the party general secretary, Sitaram Yechury. The CPM will now be devoting more time and energy on its attempt to stage a comeback in West Bengal.

But they, as usual, would like to play important roles in the ministrymaking at the Centre as an outside player since the party will never be an inside partner of the Central government even in the distant future.

The CPM can again be in power in the states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura which it has ruled for several years in the past.

The BJP, which has now only two seats in Bengal, has targeted 22 seats in the coming election. This target, however, may not be achieved, though the BJP's seats in the state may increase.

There are people who want to see Mamata as next Prime Minister on the consideration that she is a Bengali. We have seen Bengalis as the country's President, the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, the Lok Sabha Speaker, etc, and now we want a Bengali as Prime Minister, eminent citizens of Kolkata demand.

Veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu once had opportunity for becoming Prime Minister. But due to an unrealistic decision of the party's politburo, the opportunity could not materialise.

Now, if there is any chance for Mamata, there is no reason why we should not welcome it, BJP state secretary Dilip Ghosh publicly declares. He, however, thinks that the possibility of Mamata becoming Prime Minister is an altogether absurd.