20 Democrats for 2020

In India it is time for Lok Sabha elections. In USA, Presidential Election is in November 2020. It is April 2019. Democratic Party has 20 candidates who vie for party nomination to fight Presidential Election.
1) Amy Klobuchar
2) Andrew Yang
3) Bernie Sanders
4) Beto O’Rourke
5) Cory Booker
6) Elizabeth Warren
7) Eric Swalwell
8) Jay Inslee
9) John Delaney
10) John Hickenlooper
11) Joseph Biden
12) Julian Castro
13) Kamala Harris
14) Kirsten Gillibrand
15) Marianne Williamson
16) Tulsi Gabbard
17) Mike Gravel
18) Pete Buttigieg
19) Tim Ryan
20) Wayne Messam
There will be debates in coming months. Some channels may give chance to all candidates to take part in debate by splitting in two parts. Last time when there were 17 Republican candidates, one channel hosted seven candidates first and ten candidates later. The number of candidates went down in subsequent debates.
Bernie Sanders and Joseph Biden lead in polls. Some weeks back suddenly one Democrat woman accused Biden of inappropriate behaviour six years back. After that two women accused Biden similarly. It seems the accusations will not make much difference to Biden.
The contrast with India is striking. Here most parties are personal or family properties. In USA any party member can strive to lead the party. President and Governors are elected and they choose their cabinets. In India, MLAs have no say in election of Chief Minister. Party high command decides.
It is difficult to predict who will win Democratic nomination. More candidates may join the contest.

Congress versus Trinamool

First came the news that TMC has removed Congress from its logo. Then came Rahul Gandhi’s attack on Mamata Banerjee.
Something went wrong so Mamata Banerjee decided to remove Congress from TMC’s logo. Rahul Gandhi’s speech at Malda indicated it was war between Rahul and Mamata.
Rahul said “Like Modi, Mamata Banerjee makes only false promises and lies to people.” He further said Mamata Banerjee has done nothing for the state. She only gives long speech. Whole state is run for one person.
TMC does not have much presence outside West Bengal. It decided to contest all 42 Lok Sabha seats alone in West Bengal and announced candidates. Congress and CPI(M) could not agree on alliance in West Bengal. BJP is against Congress, CPI(M), and TMC. It is four-way contest in West Bengal.
Comparing to Narendra Modi is what Mamata Banerjee hates and she is likely to be revengeful. It means Congress will not support Mamata Banerjee as PM candidate and TMC will not support Rahul Gandhi as PM candidate.
KCR wanted alliance of non-BJP and non-Congress parties. For Mamata that is an option. She can join AAP, BJD, BSP, SP, TRS and other regional parties. West Bengal has seven-phase voting beginning from 11 April and ending on 19 May. Fight between Congress and TMC is likely to get nasty.
In February there was opposition rally in Delhi where Congress and TMC had participated. That time too Mamata Banerjee was angry that Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary of Congress had accused her of complicity in Saradha scam.
Even if TMC wins 42 seats, they are not enough for government formation. KCR and Mayawati have Prime Ministerial ambitions and they are unlikely to support Mamata Banerjee as PM candidate. If Congress wins 272 seats by itself or with allies it can form government.


BJP’s first list of 184 Lok Sabha candidates is out. This time Amit Shah is the candidate from Gandhinagar.
Lal Krishna Advani has represented Gandhinagar six times from 1991 onwards. Denying him ticket this time means practically end of the road for his political career. In 2014 Rajnath Singh was BJP President and Narendra Modi as Prime Ministerial candidate was not in a position to deprive Advani of ticket. After Rajnath Singh became Home Minister and quit as BJP President, Amit Shah became BJP President and Modi’s hold on BJP was complete except for RSS influence. BJP Parliamentary Board was reconstituted and seniors like Atal Behari Vajpayee, Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were put in Margdarshak Mandal. Modi did not want Advani in any important position and Speaker’s post went to Sumitra Mahajan.
In 1991 Advani had first filed his papers from New Delhi. Congress fielded Rajesh Khanna against him. Then Advani contested from Gandhinagar also. Advani won both seats and resigned New Delhi seat.
There is picture of Advani filing 1991 nomination papers from Gandhinagar. Modi is sitting next to him and helping him. Amit Shah is one of many people standing behind.
It is said BJP’s Gujarat unit did not send any name for Gandhinagar. They wanted Modi or Shah to contest from Gandhinagar. Last time Modi had contested from Baroda and Varanasi. He won both seats and gave up Baroda.
This is not the last word on Advani. He had his chance in 2009. He failed. The possibility of his becoming Prime Minister is remote but can not be ruled out. In 1991 P. V. Narasimha Rao was to retire from his political career. Suddenly he became Congress President and Prime Minister.