UPA 3 in the making? Sonia reaches out to key opposition leaders

The DMK on Thursday confirmed that party president MK Stalin had received an invite for the meeting. Sonia also has written to leaders of other opposition parties including the JD(S), NCP, SP and BSP.

Published: 16th May 2019 02:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2019 05:08 PM   |  A+A-

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi (File | PTI)

By Online Desk

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is reaching out to key opposition leaders seeking their presence at a meeting in New Delhi on May 23, when the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be announced.

The DMK on Thursday confirmed that party president MK Stalin had received an invite for the meeting.

Sonia who has kept a low profile during the election campaign has also written to leaders of other opposition parties including the JD(S), NCP, SP and BSP, NDTV reported.

Sonia has also reportedly asked senior party leaders to reach out to K Chandrashekar Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Naveen Patnaik of the BJD and Jaganmohan Reddy of the YSR Congress. 

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Wednesday claimed that neither BJP nor NDA will form the government at the Centre after the polls.

"We are in the last phase of elections and I can say on the basis of my experience during campaigning across the country that neither BJP nor NDA is going to return to power at the Centre.

"Narendra Modi is also not going to become the prime minster for the second time. Non-NDA, non-BJP government will be installed at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections," he told mediapersons.

He also said that it would be good if there is a consensus on who will be the Congress' prospective PM candidate after the Lok Sabha election results are out.

"We are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the PM, if it is not offered to us (Congress)," he further said, hinting at a wider discussion among the opposition parties for the PM-designate.

Sources said that Chandrababu Naidu and Sharad Pawar are likely to attend the meet.

Telangana CM KCR, meanwhile, has already embarked on his 'Third Front' mission, and met Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and DMK chief MK Stalin reportedly to explore the possibility of creating a 'South Block' at the Centre.

While Vijayan, the only CPM Chief Minister in the country, had a discussion with his Telangana counterpart over a range of issues like contemporary national politics, post-poll political scenarios and possible options after the elections, it is learnt that the Left Front will only take a call on the possible creation of a non-Congress and non-BJP Central government after the results are declared on May 23.

“The Left Front wants a secular government at the Centre. Based on the election results, we will take a realistic approach on forming a secular alternative at the Centre after May 23. Any decision on possible alliances will be taken after the results are out,” said CPM politburo member S Ramachandran Pillai.

Stalin too, after meeting KCR earlier this week said that there were no chances for a "third front" government post polls. 

He also said that Rao did not visit Tamil Nadu for forging alliances.

"He did not come to form alliances. He came to Tamil Nadu to offer prayers in various temples and on that basis, sought an appointment with me for a courtesy call. That is all," he told reporters in Chennai.

His party too reiterated their alliance commitments with Congress.

Interestingly, there are reports of JDS supremo Deve Gowda too starting a mission in the national capital after May 23 to put in place an alliance of regional parties to support Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister's post.

“Immediately after the Lok Sabha election results are announced, my father Deve Gowda will approach leaders of all opposition parties and try to bring consensus on making Congress president Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister,” said his son and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Making it clear that JDS will fully back the Congress president for the top post, the Karnataka CM seemed confident there is no possibility of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) returning to power.

“In the current scenario, it is impossible for the NDA to come back to power at the Centre. Narendra Modi’s desperation can be seen in his recent statements and the issues that he is taking up. He has lost the appeal that he enjoyed in 2014 and people have now started doubting him. It is more so in North India,” Kumaraswamy stressed.

According to sources, Congress does not want a repeat of Goa, where it could not form a government in 2016 and 2019 despite being the largest party in the state assembly.

BJP won that race by forging alliances with smaller parties and independents.

Sources also added that said the Grand Old Party is keen that "no time is wasted" on May 23. So, it wants opposition forces in Delhi to stay prepared.

However, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, BSP supremo Mayawati and her ally Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav are likely to skip the meet.

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