On the eve of last day of voting for 2019 Lok Sabha, opposition parties hopeful of getting a shot at forming government when no side gets majority have got down to preparing for such an eventuality.
Deliberations between various opposition leaders are likely to stepped up before the Lok Sabha results are announced on May 23.
Telugu Desam Party chief Chadrababu Naidu, one of the leaders at the forefront of moves to unite opposition parties, was reported to have met a number of leaders from several parties, including Congress, CPI leaders, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today (Saturday, May 18).
In an hour-long meeting with Gandhi, Naidu discussed the impending need to bring together all parties that are against the BJP after the Lok Sabha election results. Naidu also told Gandhi to have a strategy ready in case the BJP tries to stake claim to form the government despite falling short of numbers, reported news agency PTI.
The meeting comes days after it was confirmed that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi would chair a meeting of Opposition leaders in the national capital on May 23, after the results of the Lok Sabha elections are announced.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister also met CPI leader G Sudhakar Reddy and D Raja over breakfast, asking them to “come together”.
Naidu also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and LJD leader Sharad Yadav.
The TDP chief has already held several rounds of discussions with various opposition leaders, including TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
He also met BSP chief Mayawati and was expected to meet SP president Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow in the evening.
Naidu reportedly also told Gandhi to have a strategy ready in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark and still stakes claim to form the government.
Naidu’s TDP had been a part of the NDA and had quit the alliance a few months ago.
On Friday, Naidu was reported to have said that not only the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but any outfit which is against the saffron party are welcome to join a grand alliance after the election results are declared.
Naidu said the doors of the opposition alliance are open to all, including the TRS, whose president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has been talking about a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front, reported The Indian Express (IE). Naidu discussed post-May 23 alliance building possibilities during his meetings with Yechury and Kejriwal.
“We welcome not only the TRS but any party which is against the BJP. We welcome all such parties to be a part of our grand alliance,” Naidu told reporters when asked whether a Congress-led grand alliance will join hands with the TRS.
Other reports said the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) may skip May 23 meeting convened by UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and will wait for a clear picture to emerge after the Lok Sabha battle before responding to her invitation.
Though both the parties have officially denied receiving invitations for the May 23 meeting, they appear to be adopting a wait and watch approach before deciding their next strategy.