Rajat Sharma


AKB Decks have been cleared for Narendra Modi to take oath as Prime Minister for the third term, in the presence of several top heads of states. He was elected leader of National Democratic Alliance on Wednesday, which has won 292 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. President Droupadi Murmu hosted a farewell dinner for the outgoing ministers in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday evening. INDIA bloc leaders attended a meeting at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence, where they decided to sit in the opposition for now and adopt a ‘wait and watch’ policy. Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu said, his party would continue to remain in NDA and there should be no confusion on this issue. JD-U chief Nitish Kumar also said his party would continue to stay in NDA. Both these leaders are presently in the ‘kingmaker’ role. A chance meeting between Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav on the Patna-Delhi flight left tongues wagging in political circles. Both the leader did sit together inside the plane and had a tete-a-tete, but JD-U leaders scotched all speculations about a ‘comeback’. Speculations aside, it was celebration time for BJP on Wednesday, since there are no doubts that Modi would be forming the next government at the Centre. Opposition leaders in INDIA bloc are still nursing hopes about Naidu and Nitish Kumar creating problems for Modi. Overall, the results have brought happiness for all parties. BJP leaders are happy that Modi would be starting his third term, Congress leaders are happy that the party has won the second largest number of seats and it would continue to lead the opposition front. Akhilesh Yadav is happy that his Samajwadi Party won more seats than the BJP, after facing four consecutive defeats. He is happy that his party stopped BJP from getting majority. Uncle Sharad Pawar is happy that he succeeded in stopping his nephew Ajit Pawar in his tracks. Mamata Didi is happy that her party stopped BJP from spreading its wings in Bengal. Everybody is happy: those who won, and those who lost. In a sense, you can call this, ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’. At the INDIA bloc meeting, 33 leaders from various parties attended, but the front has, after all, conceded defeat. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, M K Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Abhishek Banerjee (Mamata’s nephew), Sitaram Yechury, Omar Abdullah, Sanjay Raut, Champai Soren, Kalpana Soren, Sanjay Singh and Raghav Chadha were among those who attended. The unanimous decision was that the alliance would now wait for the “right time” to strike. NCP founder Sharad Pawar knows, Modi cannot be stopped from forming his government now. He also knows that it would be difficult to snare away Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar from NDA. This was the reason why heavyweights like Mamata Banerjee and Uddhav Thackeray did not attend Wednesday’s meeting. They know that the roads for government formation are now closed. Rahul Gandhi had been telling at each of his election meetings that he was ready to give in writing that Modi would no more continue as PM after June 4. Even now, some Congress leaders want to prevent Modi from taking over as PM, by hook or by crook, but the numbers are stacked against them. The numbers clearly show that nothing can stop Modi from starting his third term. The opposition front meeting went on for nearly two hours. Some leaders did say that Modi must be stopped at all costs, but one experienced leader among them pointed out that on one hand BJP alone has 240 MPs, while the entire INDIA bloc has only 234 MPs. It would be better for all to wait and watch.

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