By Narendra Puppala
Hyderabad, Sep 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The political spotlight is on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar ever since he walked out of the NDA camp. He has been actively reaching out to opposition forces in what is being seen as a last-ditch effort to defeat the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 elections.
Meanwhile, Telangana chief minister and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has been criss-crossing the country in his efforts to forge a national front ahead of the general elections. He had also visited Patna a few days ago to discuss the issue with Nitish Kumar and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav.
However, the fragility of opposition unity seemed evident the moment the media queried KCR on whether he would support Nitish Kumar as the Prime Ministerial candidate. To Nitish Kumar's obvious discomfiture, KCR responded that all the partners would discuss and decide the issue after the elections.
Thereafter, the press conference was wrapped up in a hurry. But the visuals, of a persistent KCR requesting an equally adamant Nitish Kumar to be seated while he answered the query, highlighted the obvious chinks in the opposition camp's armour.
It's quite clear that opposition unity remains a chimera. Especially, when it comes to the Prime Ministership, leaders like KCR are not expected to compromise.
Political observer Prof K. Nageshwar in Hyderabad too feels the question of KCR accepting Nitish's leadership does not arise now. "That question will arise only after 2024 who will accept whom. Depending on permutations and combinations. It all depends. Everybody wants to become the Prime Minister. It all depends on the numbers they have. There is no question of who is accepting whom at this point of time. Now everybody has to accept everybody."
KCR has built up his own political party and achieved statehood for Telangana, and rules over one of India's richer states. In comparison, Nitish is seen as a beneficiary of coalition politics. It is unlikely that KCR will allow Nitish Kumar to walk in and take the Prime Ministership, if the occasion arises.
KCR also enjoys the added advantage of being a fluent Hindi speaker, a rarity among south Indian political leaders. Ability to speak Hindi becomes vital in areas north of the Vindhyas.
One factor that may put a hurdle in the opposition unity initiatives is that while KCR is trying to forge a non-BJP, non-Congress political front, Nitish Kumar is heading a coalition government in Bihar that includes the Congress.
For now, KCR seems to be preparing for his foray into national politics. On the anvil are a national political party. He has been actively reaching out to farmers and other influential segments of society.