Rahul doesn’t figure on both counts whereas both ‘Bua’ and ‘Bhatija’ are ex-chief ministers. But did a Nehru-Gandhi scion ever deign to be CM? The answer is ‘No.’ Nehru-Gandhi family gives only prime ministerial candidates. The G-Family has a lien on the Prime Minister’s chair; teak or oak, it doesn’t matter.

‘Behen’ Mayawati is keenly aware of the entitlement that is not hers. There was a time when it was thought her time had come. But the moment passed and she is left with hat in hand, in the shadow of the elephant. She could hang on only because the elephant casts a big shadow; safe harbour to wait out any storm.

In other words, bide time. Today, things have come full circle and it’s time to throw the hat back in the ring. But, there is a ring of coalition in the air and every alliance can either go to polls with a pre-poll prime ministerial candidate or fight it out between two or more post-poll PM candidates.

Problem is, pre-poll it’s a double ‘Nahi-Nahi’ from BSP and SP. The Congress, on the other hand, tested water and then chose to tread water, sensing the note of reluctance in Mayawati and Mamata. But then, the note ‘Rahul for PM’ did not die, it rang in Chennai with MK Stalin saying it aloud to nobody’s surprise. The Congress and DMK are bosom pals having done business before. Ask Kanimozhi.

Congress is a big fat ‘0’ in Tamil Nadu. Stalin is supposed to be the next Big Hope in Dravidaland. Why, Mani Shankar Aiyar might yet be heard in the Lok Sabha if DMK, Congress go together in Tamil Nadu. Point is, DMK does not run a risk aligning with Congress, but Mayawati will. That’s because Congress is truly ‘national party’ whereas the BSP is only by aspiration and Election Commission reckoning.

No matter how Mayawati looks at it, the Congress will be picking up seats in several states while the BSP can bank only on Uttar Pradesh to reach double-figures. There is no way she will squander in Hindi heartland. Miser is the word and miserly is the pitch. It will not stick, the name ‘Miser Mayawati’ if the BSP scores big and limits Congress to two in Uttar Pradesh – Rae Bareilly and Amethi.

News is that while not interested in including Congress in the UP gathbandhan, SP-BSP will leave Amethi and Rae Bareilly for Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. Generous, eh? Yeah, take it or leave it. In all likelihood, the Congress will take it. What’s the saying, beggars can’t be choosers? Or the other one, if wishes were horses, even beggars would ride; the Congress is in such a state, Uttar Pradesh!

That said, the Opposition parties are pretty confident a non-BJP coalition will take charge of India post-general election. They believe BJP will take a beating in GE 2019 and Prime Minister is in no shape to post victory this time. He sounded “mellowed” and “defensive” in his interview with ANI. Worried at losing alliance partners? Besides, Gorakhpur and Phulpur proved Modi and Shah have feet of clay.

Luck and political savvy will see the back of Modi and Mayawati knows that is the way to go in 2019. The cards are dealt and it’s not a game of bluff. A full-house is not possible but 60 out of 80 for SP-BSP would help grab control of the House. (IPA Service)