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Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2019

Mamata,Mayawati & Akhilesh Yadav May Skip Opposition meet called by Congress

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1544463761-9169NEW DELHI : Three key opposition leaders – Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and her ally Samajwadi leader Akhilesh Yadav – are likely to skip the post-election opposition meet in Delhi that will be hosted by the Congress.
Twenty-one anti-BJP opposition parties that are together at the national level are expected to meet on May 21, two days before the counting of votes, for a strategy session.
Sources said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who had gone to Bengal last week and met Mamata Banerjee, received a negative when they discussed the meet. There is no need for any meeting before the results come out on May 23, she told Mr Naidu, sources said. Negative responses have also come from Mayawati.
The reason, sources indicate, is the inevitable question of the Prime Minister’s post in case of a favorable result for the opposition. While all opposition leaders have so far carefully avoided questions on the top job for the sake of unity, both Mayawati and Mamata Banerjee harbor prime ministerial ambition. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s name has already been proposed for the post by several leaders, including DMK chief MK Stalin.
Mayawati has made no secret of her disdain of the Congress. Not only has she left the party out of the Uttar Pradesh alliance, over the last five months, she has repeatedly threatened to pull the rug from the Kamal Nath government, which has a wafer-thin majority in Madhya Pradesh.
Mamata Banerjee  has not spoken openly of her ambition for the top job. Speaking from Mamata Banerjee’s home turf, Bengal, PM Modi had said, “Anyone fighting on 40 seats, 20 seats, 25 seats, says he wants to claim the prime minister’s post. Sab ghungroo bandhke taiyar ho gaye (everyone is ready, with bells on, to take the post)”.

Despite Mayawati’s frequent attacks, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has called her a “national symbol”. “I respect her, love her. Sure we have a political fight and we fight for the ideology of the Congress… (but) I respect her contribution to the country,” Mr Gandhi has said in an interview to a TV Channel.
Meanwhile, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao has sought another appointment with DMK chief MK Stalin on Monday as the mammoth seven phase Lok Sabha election draws to a close.
M.K. Stalin’s unwillingness to meet KCR at this stage as his DMK is in an alliance with Congress.
As per an earlier schedule, they were to meet in Chennai on May, but now that has been differed to a later date. So is the case with JDS leaders Deve Gowda and CM Kumaraswamy in Bangalore who, too, are not sure of meeting the TRS chief immediately.

Chandrababu Naidu’s last effort to meet MK Stalin – to push his idea for a non-Congress, non-BJP Federal Front that can take power after the elections – did not come off too well. The DMK chief, who is in alliance with Congress, was busy campaigning.
Last week, Mr KCR who met his Kerala counterpart P Vijayan, who admitted that the meeting was a “very important one”. But he has not received much traction from other leaders. Even Vijayan had indicated that any decision can be taken only after the election results come out on May 23.
KCR held talks with Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on 6 May and made a propsal on the need to form a federal front at the national level, without the BJP and Congress.
This is a radical shift for KCR who till recently avoided the Left parties from his scheme of federal front which mainly consists of regional parties without BJP and Congress. KCR’s calculation was that the BJP won’t cross the 150-seat mark, while the Congress would stop below the 100-seat mark in the currently Lok Sabha elections. In that case, it would be possible to form a government with other regional parties.
KCR has teamed up with Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress which is expected to sweep Andhra Pradesh which has 25 MP seats. Together with Jagan, KCR believes the two Telugu parties will have around 35 MPs in their hands, a sizeable number for formation of any coalition at the Centre, if the BJP fails to cross the half way mark later this month.
KCR who till recently is viewed as closer to the BJP camp and was accused of indirectly helping PM Narendra Modi retain his position for a second term. However, now KCR is talking hard against the PM and BJP while softening his objection to Congress, the principal opposition in Telangana.
Now for KCR, BJP is the bigger enemy than Congress. A major reason for this is the fierce fight put up by the BJP in Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat from where KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha is seeking a re-election. BJP has fielded D Arvind, the 42-year-old son of expelled TRS Rajya Sabha member Dharmapuri Srinivas, a former Pradesh Congress Committee leader and former minister.

In fact, Srinivas was shown the door from TRS a year ago for his alleged indirect support to his son Arvind who not only joined BJP, but also launched an attack against Kavitha. KCR is also furious that some of the 178 farmers who contested as independents in Nizamabad to irk his daughter Kavitha, were backed by BJP. (With Inputs from Political Observers).



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