Sonia Gandhi reaches out to opposition leaders ahead of results, key meet scheduled for May 23

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Updated: May 16, 2019 4:47:26 PM

With Lok Sabha election results just a few days away from now, the former Congress president is leading opposition parties into exploring opportunities to come together to prevent BJP from retaining power.

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi. (Express photo by Anil Sharma)

Opposition meeting on May 23: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is back in spotlight as a bitter fought general election draws to a close. With Lok Sabha election results just a few days away from now, the former Congress president is leading opposition parties into exploring opportunities to come together to gain a majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha and form a government. According to a report in The Indian Express, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi strongly feels that the results will throw a splintered verdict and she has already started reaching out to UPA constituents and others who are critical of the BJP and PM Narendra Modi’s leadership.

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Sonia has convened a meeting of opposition leaders in New Delhi on May 23, the day counting of votes begins. The IE report said that DMK has confirmed that its president MK Stalin has received an invitation from Sonia Gandhi for the meeting. The UPA chairperson has also reached out to JD(S) president HD Dewe Gowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, BSP’s Mayawati and Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav.

Besides writing to the UPA partners, Sonia has been silently reaching out to non-NDA parties as well. Besides, she has entrusted Congress troubleshooter and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and a few senior leaders to reach out to BJD chief Naveen Patnaik, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy and TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, The Indian Express reported.

Informal talks with these leaders have already begun, the report said. All these three states combined has 60 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, the Congress is also hosting a meeting of the opposition leaders in Delhi on April 21 to discuss the future strategy. Top opposition leaders like Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, NCP’s Sharad Pawar are likely to participate in the meeting. However, three key leaders Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee may skip the meet.

The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will end on May 19. Results will be out on May 23.

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