Indian General Elections

GONE IN 365 DAYS: Here's How The Mahagathbandhan Has Journeyed From Mega Photo-op On HD Kumaraswamy Swearing-in Ceremony

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Published:

With the country having completed three phases of Lok Sabha elections and gearing up for the fourth phase, political party across the spectrum are having heated arguments and their blame-games are increasing. While the BJP is witnessing a boost with the celebrities and army veterans joining the party and a return of Modi-wave in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's roadshow in Varanasi, the Opposition remains unsure about its Mahagathbandhan that surfaced on March 24, 2018, on the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Republic Media Network's Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami explained the trajectory on the Sunday Debate:

With the massive Opposition unity photo on the swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy, to the Congress leader Salman Khurshid making a 'choor-choor' remark on the SP-BSP-RLD alliance in Uttar Pradesh, here's a look at how the Mahagathbandhan has journeyed so far:

  • On May 24, 2018: In a massive show of Opposition strength, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav,  Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, RLD chief Ajit Singh among others met on the ocassion of swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy in Karnataka.

During the same occasion, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu had said: 

"We have all come here. We are very happy Kumaraswamy is the CM. In future also we'll be together. We are watching and want to promote more and more regional parties. We want to express our solidarity" - N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh CM

"We are very happy that Kumaraswamyji is taking oath. We will keep in touch with all the regional parties. Our vision is very clear. Congress is also a separate party. We are here to support JD(S) as a regional party. "Jo humse takrayega, woh choor-choor ho jayega" - Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM

  • Four months later: Rahul Gandhi led Congress party allied with the TDP alliance and CPI. Naidu’s TDP had tied up with the Congress in Telangana assembly elections but the alliance did not really work on the ground. The Congress ended up with 19 seats of the 119; TDP with just about 2.
     
  • 22 days later: In a crack within the Mahagathbandhan, BSP Supremo Mayawati calls Congress arrogant: "They (Congress) are getting arrogant and are under the misconception that they can defeat BJP on their own but the ground reality is that people haven't forgiven Congress party for their mistakes and corruption. They don't seem to be ready to rectify themselves,"she said. 
     
  • One month later in December, 2018: DMK president M K Stalin proposed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for Prime Ministership, annoying the allies in Mahagathbandhan.
     
  • On March 12, 2019: Akhilesh Yadav's SP and Mayawati's BSP strikes a seat-sharing deal, dumps Rahul Gandhi led Congress party, saying that 'their(Congress) vote share is not transferred in case of an alliance.'
     
  • On 31 January, 2019: Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy's father and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda said he has suffered much pain in the last six months when the government was formed in a post-poll alliance.

He was quoted as saying by news agency ANI: “I am in pain. Six months have completed since Kumaraswamy became Chief Minister. All kinds of things have happened in these six months, till now I have not opened my mouth but I can’t keep quiet now,”

  • 11 days later: Rahul Gandhi led Congress Congress and Chandrababu Naidu led TDP decides to contest the assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the state of Andhra Pradesh alone. 
     
  • 36 days later: NCP chief Sharad Pawar acts as a mediator to stitch the AAP- Congress alliance. 
    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said during a press conference: "Congress is not communicating with us. Sharad Pawar tried to bring us together but Rahul Gandhi said no then and there only." 
     
  • One month later: Massive fight between Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter over sealing a deal for Delhi Lok Sabha polls.
  • On April 24, 2019: While addressing a public rally, Congress' Salman Khurshid slammed the BSP-SP-RLD Gathbandhan with the same Choor Choor remark that was used against the BJP during Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony

    Khurshid said: "We will fight against Modi, and I declare that whosever will interfere in the fight between me and Modi, or will try to stop me, whether he be from Gathbandhan or from BSP (Haathi), I will attack them and will break them into pieces"
    ("Hamare yaha is waqt ye keher hai ki hum Modi se ladenge, aur main aelan karta hu, Modi se jo meri ladai main mere samne ayega, aur mujhe rokne ki koshish karega, wo gathbandhan ka naam le, ya wo haathi ka naam le, main usko waar karke choor choor kar dunga.")

 

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