Arvind Kejriwal missing from I.N.D.I.A. alliance poster released by Congress

Arvind Kejriwal missing from I.N.D.I.A. alliance poster released by Congress


Ahead of the meeting of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance of the opposition parties in Mumbai tomorrow, the Congress social media team has released a poster featuring prominent leaders of the opposition bloc. Interestingly, there are two striking takeaways in the poster that have stirred a new controversy – one that has further widened the rift within these so-called alliance partners. Reportedly, seat sharing is one of the major agendas of the meeting.

Notably, the alliance poster released by the Congress party features images of several leaders – Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mamata Banerjee, Hemant Soren, Mallikarjun Kharge, Uddhav Thackeray and Sitaram Yechury among others. Conspicuously, Aam Aadmi Party National Convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is missing from the alliance poster.

Secondly, the alliance poster shows Rahul Gandhi on the centre stage leading the political squad of foes turned friends. This comes in the wake of the statements made by Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. He recently announced that Rahul Gandhi will be the Prime Ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. This move – the umpteenth relaunch of Gandhi’s Scion, however, has been a divisive issue within the ideologically amorphous opposition alliance. 

Reportedly the Uddhav Thackeray section of Shiv Sena was not happy with the poster showing Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the opposition alliance. Shiv Sena asked Congress to delete the post with the poster. The party further threatened to tear down the poster if it is seen in Mumbai.

Later the Congress party deleted the poster from Instagram.

Soon after the poster was released, BJP’s National Spokesperson Shehzad Poonawala took a jibe at the uncanny bonhomie of alliance partners AAP and Congress. Insinuating that the two have taken ‘political divorce’, he asserted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah was accurate in predicting that the alliance will fall once the Delhi Services Bill becomes an act. Additionally, he also touched upon the unceasing ambitions of each alliance partner within the I.N.D.I.A. for Prime Ministership.

Speaking about the development, Poonawala said, “They (the opposition alliance) have no mission but an ambition to become PM. If you see the placard released before the meeting, where Rahul Gandhi is leading the group of other leaders… But the interesting part is that Kejriwal is missing out from that. Today AAP also pitches Kejriwal as a PM face, whereas JDU wants Nitish to be the PM. This is going towards triple talaq and even shows their ambition behind this.”

First takeaway of the poster: Is the alliance breaking away?

The absence of Arvind Kejriwal from the poster has led to widespread speculations that the escalating war of words between Congress and AAP has finally culminated in the inevitable meltdown of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. 

Although Congress and AAP claimed that they had united under the new umbrella, they continued accusing each other of being the most corrupt entity and said derogatory things about each other’s leaders. 

Evidently, AAP announced that it will contest Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar assembly elections. Additionally, their senior leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann bad-mouthed Congress in their poll rallies. 

On the other hand, Congress leaders have made serious allegations against AAP Supremo Arvind Kejriwal. Apart from this, an event of political bonhomie backfired on AAP when Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao egged on AAP’s flagship Mohalla clinics saying that it is “overhyped”.

Second Takeaway: Will the alliance of wanna-be PMs and anti-Modi hit squad crumble on greed for PM post?

Sensing their political rout, these former arch-nemeses, who have brazenly hurled serious allegations and abuses at each other – in fact, they have not ceased their hostile attitudes – have united for a common cause: anti-Modism, serving as their binding force. 

On multiple occasions, directly, indirectly, or from someone else’s shoulder, virtually all prominent leaders of the ‘alliance poster’ including the left-out alliance partner Arvind Kejriwal have displayed unchecked ambitions of becoming Priem Minister of the country, regardless of the consequences of their acts and deeds. 

While Sanjay Raut has been parroting this for Sharad Pawar, TMC has been adamant that their party Supremo Mamata Banerjee should become the Prime Minister candidate. In fact, today, AAP National Spokesperson Priyanka Kakkar said that Arvind Kejriwal should be the Prime Ministerial candidate.

But the recent move by Congress to project Rahul Gandhi as their PM prospect could seemingly serve as the ultimate tussle that rips this alliance apart. 

Without having any ideological convergence, it is seemingly turning out as an alliance of opportunist politicians who are united only by their insane dislike for incumbent PM Narendra Modi which many times breaches the code of conduct and is borderline pathological. The recent glaring display of this was seen when fodder scam convict Lalu Prasad Yadav who is out on ‘medical bail’ made disparaging remarks about PM Modi. He said that the opposition had caught PM Modi by his throat.


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