Meira Kumar, a joint opposition candidate to the president, can not reach Rashtrapati Bhavan in July 2017, given the numbers stacked in favor of the indicator Ram Nath Kevin, the candidate of the Democratic National Alliance Party-Bharatiya Janata. But could she emerge as a candidate for prime minister of the united opposition in 2019?
This possibility may seem very speculative – and premature – at this stage. Certainly, there are two years for the next general election, and much water will descend on the Ganges during this period. On the other hand, we are not trying to make a decision, but a multitude of groups, big and small, each with its own agenda – and political – that the choice of a leader can help or hurt.
It is not as if the opposition grouping was like a monolithic entity, while the Bharatiya Janata Party is today, under a strong leader Narendra Modi, in its brief was accepted without hesitation since it has a product with the Kovind application.
In fact, Congress has not canceled within a few hours announcing the agreement on Meira Kumar, so some of the parties who considered themselves undecided are wrong. Sharad Pawar had to wait until Friday when he was to take a delegation to see the prime minister on the problems of farmers Friday. Nationalist Party Party leader Praful Patel said last week that whether his party’s support in the presidential election had been requested by the NDA leadership of the United Progressive Alliance should be addressed to a specific name. Mayawati also indicated his positive response to Kovind’s candidacy – unless, as was said, the opposition also introduced a Dalit, which they did.
Congress made the announcement in the knowledge that the BJP would work in several parties in the opposition. The Nationalist Congress Party, the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Trinamool Congress Party, about which there were doubts, all came on board. Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal (States) stood firm in their support for proclaimed Kovind. The weakness of the opposition parties that support Meira Kumar is not as large as it could be if the Janata Dal (States) remained on board, although there was little chance of victory. But then, there is an irony because of Nitish Kumar, who had first encouraged Sonia Gandhi to take the initiative to develop a consensus name on the side of the opposition to the presidency.
Despite the fragility of opposition programming, but because they are all at the end of the BJP reception at their expense, the possibility of Meira Kumar who heads the opposition group in 2019 is an idea to consider. For the simple reason that she is Dalit, who belongs to the dominant caste Jatav, she is a woman and women appear more and more as a political group with a voice. And it belongs to the largest opposition party in the country, the National Congress of India, the member would be a natural claimant to lead a coalition. In addition, she has had a long and varied experience in politics, the Parliament as President of the Lok Sabha during the domination of the United Progressive Alliance led by Congress and administration in the government of the Union and training in the foreign service.