In a bid to keep the BJP out of power if the ruling party is short of a majority in a hung house, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has called a meeting of senior Congress leaders on Wednesday, a day ahead of the counting of votes in the Lok Sabha elections. All senior leaders, general secreatries and 'in-charge' of the party have been called to prepare for the meeting of UPA allies and some other parties. The meeting will also discuss the strategy to be adopted in the May 23 meeting of the UPA and allied parties.
The possibility of roping in new non-NDA parties into the UPA coalition may be discussed in today’s meeting, sources said. After the feedback session, tasks will be assigned to various leaders as per their expertise. A team of four leaders has already been put in place to reach out to potential allies and is working hard to make the alliance meeting successful.
Gandhi is understood to have invited leaders of secular parties including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK chief MK Stalin, RJD and TMC for the meeting on a day the results will be out.
Speaking to the media in Tirupati on Saturday, former Prime Minister and JD(S) president, HD Deve Gowda, and his son, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that it is not possible for regional parties to form the government at the Centre without the support of the Congress. There are many aspirants for prime ministership and a consensus has to be reached among them. Deve Gowda said that he will communicate his opinion to Ms Gandhi at the meeting of UPA allies on May 23.
There were reports that Rao and the chief of YSRCP Congress Jaganmohan Reddy have also been invited but there was no confirmation.
(With agency inputs)