The Congress got off to a slow start in terms of stitching up alliances with regional players as it struggles to give shape to the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The idea of all Opposition parties coming together on a common platform with defeating BJP at the polling booth as their sole aim has been ridiculed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said it was not Mahagathbandhan but Mahamilavat (adulterated).
Now, a parody video capturing the frailties of the grand alliance has gone viral on social media.
It begins with Rahul adding all the leaders to a WhatsApp group, “Maha Gathbandhan”. As the conversation begins with a discussion on seat-sharing, it quickly veers off towards who would be the next Prime Minister in case the alliance gets the required numbers to form the government in Delhi.
As the leaders go back and forth over the agenda of the alliance, Mamata ropes in K Chandrasekar Rao, Naveen Patnaik, Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, but they immediately exit the WhatsApp group. Meanwhile, Rahul pleads with Mamata to “don’t add any more members without asking me”.
An angry Mamata hits back saying, “Who are you? Why should I follow your orders”.
With no consensus on the PM nominee, enter Samajwadi Patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is made the group admin by Mamata. He then goes on to add his brother Shivpal Yadav bringing more chaos to the group.
Eventually, the WhatsApp group gets hijacked by SamajwadPatriarchch Mulayam Singh Yadav who “adds” BJP president Amit Shah and changes its name to BJP 400+.
The video was uploaded in two parts by a Facebook page, The Frustrated Indian (TFI). Founded in 2012 by Atul Kumar Mishra, TFI began as a website before building its Facebook page. A mission statement on the page reads: “To build a strong right-wing political opinion in the country. To change the perspective that conservatives resist changes and are socially awkward.”
In an interview to The Guardian in 2014, Mishra said the TFI website was run by six “highly motivated and concerned” Indians living across the country: Shefali Vaidya, Sunil Shrivastav, Sunil Pandey, Rahul Sharma, Kishore V. Ramsubramonian and Yogi Raj.