Chandrababu Naidu to meet Mamata for post-poll alliance talks in Kolkata today

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 20 May 2019, 12:55 PM
The Telugu Desam Party chief is gearing to firm up an anti-BJP faction ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. (File photo)
The Telugu Desam Party chief is gearing to firm up an anti-BJP faction ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. (File photo)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday, Trinamool Congress sources said. The Telugu Desam Party chief is gearing to firm up an anti-BJP faction ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results on May 23. He had met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. He also met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

"Naidu will hold a meeting with Mamata Banerjee at West Bengal Secretariat this afternoon. Both will hold talks on the strategies of the ‘mahagatbandhan’ (grand alliance)," a highly placed source said.

During his interaction with Banerjee, Naidu is expected to brief her about his meetings with all political leaders in New Delhi over the weekend, the source said.

Dubbing the exit polls “gossip”, Banerjee Sunday said she doesn’t trust such surveys as the “game plan” is to use them for “manipulation” of EVMs.

Her remarks came after most exit polls forecast another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with some predicting that the BJP-led NDA will get more than 300 seats, comfortably crossing the majority mark of 272 in the Lok Sabha.

On Saturday, hours after meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi and discussing with him the possibilities of all opposition parties uniting and forging a joint opposition alliance, Naidu met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati. 

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, 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 CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.

"Naidu reportedly told all the leaders that we all should come together and put our act together", in forming the next government by keeping the BJP out, a source said.

Sources said Naidu 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.

Earlier, it was reported that Opposition is planning to meet the President after the elections are over, to urge him not to call the single largest party to form the government in case of hung Parliament.

On Friday, Naidu had 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.

Opposition parties are pitching for a joint anti-BJP front to steer the next government.

Hectic deliberations between various opposition leaders are likely to stepped up before the Lok Sabha results are announced on May 23.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has called for a meeting of leaders of non-NDA parties on May 23.

According to news agency ANI, Sonia – expecting that the BJP will fall short of majority – has invited leaders of secular parties including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK president M K Stalin, RJD and Trinamool Congress for the meeting.

First Published: Monday, May 20, 2019 12:54 PM
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