Akhilesh leads Opposition parleys against BJP

Dispelling reports of a separate camp emerging inside the bloc, the SP leader asserted that Congress has been kept in the loop about the meetings.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav arrives for INDIA bloc meeting in New Delhi
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav arrives for INDIA bloc meeting in New DelhiFile photo

NEW DELHI : Even as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Friday staked claim to form the new government, the Opposition INDIA bloc said it will continue to hold parleys to build a stable formation to counter the BJP.

While TMC MPs Abhishek Banerjee and Derek O’Brien held talks with Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav in New Delhi on Thursday, SP leaders told this newspaper that Yadav will be meeting more leaders in the coming days.

Speaking to this paper, SP spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari said that Yadav shares a good rapport with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu. Both Naidu and Kumar have extended support to the BJP, which fell short of the majority mark of 272 seats to form the government.

When asked if Akhilesh has been tasked to reach out to the leaders, Tiwari said, “I will not be surprised if Akhilesh has already spoken to Nitish Kumar or Naidu as he has a long association with both the leaders. There was a meeting between Naidu and DMK leader Stalin too. There will be more interactions that are not in the public eye,” he said.

The SP chief, who is currently camped in the national capital, would be meeting more leaders now.

“Abhishek Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav held talks earlier. We shouldn’t expect spontaneous results out of the meeting. We will see many things happening. There will be fallouts within the BJP too. After the UP results, knives are out of the BJP,” Tiwari said.

“It is a good thing that different types of meetings are happening. Whether we are in opposition or reach a stage to form the government, the greater the interaction, the stronger and the more stable we are together. If we rush into government formation, it will be perceived as opportunistic,” said Tiwari, adding that there has to be sufficient groundwork to build a stable, trusted, and illustrational formation. Earlier this week, the INDIA bloc said that it would take appropriate action at the appropriate time.

Dispelling reports of a separate camp emerging inside the bloc, the SP leader asserted that Congress has been kept in the loop about the meetings.

Meanwhile, speaking to this paper, Congress MP Manickam Tagore said that all partners of the INDIA alliance are on the same page and the interaction of the members is an ongoing process. “All members are on the same page on how to fight against the BJP. Conversation between the members is a continuing process. All the decisions were taken after consensus by INDIA bloc members,” said Tagore.

The TMC, which has been holding separate meetings with alliance partners, also claimed that they are in touch with three BJP MPs from West Bengal. The claim has been denied by the BJP. After the meetings with alliance partners, TMC leader Derek O’Brien said that the Modi government has been rejected by the people and this is just the beginning.

‘More the meetings, more the stability’

SP spokesperson Ghanshyam Tiwari said it is a good thing that different types of meetings are happening. “Whether we are in opposition or reach a stage to form the government, the greater the interaction, the stronger and the more stable we are together,” he said. Dispelling reports of a separate camp emerging inside the INDIA bloc, he asserted that Congress has been kept in the loop about the meetings.

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