Even as the general elections are three more years away from now, Opposition parties have begun groundwork to take on sitting Prime Minister Narendra Modi & his government.
Buzz is that 3 names are doing the rounds in political circles to be pitted against mighty Modi. The front runners for the PM candidature against Modi are Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
JD(U) Chairperson and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is one of the favourites for Opposition parties. RJD is strongly backing Nitish's PM candidature. Once arch rivals, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar have ditched their differences, forged an alliance and this led to a resounding victory for JD(U)-RJD combine in Bihar 2015 Asssembly elections thrashing the BJP.
Though Nitish has prime ministerial ambitions, it's also important to have enough support. For this, he first has to contend with Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal. Even if he's not, Nitish would leave no opportunity to those who publicly criticize Modi.
On other hand Congress is still struggling to come out of the crushing defeat in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. No doubt, Rahul Gandhi is more popular face than Nitish especially down the South India.
But he hasn't yet emerged as a strong opponent to Narendra Modi. Despite his few publicity stints like visiting HCU twice to gain political mileage out of suicide of a 'Dalit' student, nothing seems to have worked in favour of him & his party.
Whereas Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is another probable PM candidate given his anti-Modi stand. However, Kejriwal hasn't gained that cult status among masses like Modi. Kejriwal's popularity confined to metro city like Delhi and outside Delhi, he hasn't have that political influence.
Although he tried to expand his base with massive ad campaign of his government down the South, little did effect the people.
Meanwhile, there're several other parties which haven't taken any side yet. Parties including Mulayam's Samajwadi Party, Mayawati's Bahujan Samajwadi Party, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress, Karunanidhi's DMK, YS Jagan's YSRCP and left parties are yet to support a candidature.
So, whoever would be, one has to be successful in bringing all anti-Modi parties on one track. Else anti-government vote would be divided which in turn might help Modi. Let's wait and see.