Day after meet with KCR, Stalin dashes hopes of ‘third front’ without Congress, BJP

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Updated: May 14, 2019 3:50:03 PM

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekara Rao has been trying to stitch in a non-Congress, non-BJP front to stake claim to form government at the Centre in case of fractured mandate on May 23.

stalin, third front, lok sabha election, lok sabha election resultDMK president M K Stalin (File)

Lok Sabha Election 2019: DMK president MK Stalin on Tuesday shot down all hopes of a non-Congress, non-BJP front taking shape to stake claim to form a government at the Centre post the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results on May 23. He did, however, say a final decision would be taken after the results are announced. The Tamil Nadu strongman’s assertion comes barely a day after Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekara Rao met the former in Chennai in his renewed push for a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front of regional parties.

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Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Stalin termed KCR’s visit a courtesy call and said the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief was not in Tamil Nadu to form alliances, but to offer prayers in various temples. Stalin said that KCR sought an appointment for a courtesy call and there was nothing more to read into it.

Asked about the possibility of a non-Congress, non-BJP front taking shape at the Centre, the Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly said that he does not see that happening. “It doesn’t seem to me that there is a chance for that. However, that will be decided only after counting on May 23,” PTI quoted him as saying. Notably, Stalin was the first to endorse Congress president Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister post-2019 elections.

Hopes of a fractured mandate in the Lok Sabha elections have sent the opposition parties scrambling for opportunities to explore the potential of a government as per their liking. While KCR is exploring the possibility of a government minus the Congress and BJP, Chandrababu Naidu is leading a parallel campaign to bring opposition parties, including the Congress, together for a united claim post-May 23.

It was reported yesterday that Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee, regional leaders expected to play a prominent role in government formation post the May 23 results, are not too keen on attending the May 21 meeting called by Naidu and Congress president Rahul Gandhi to firm up a unified strategy to stake claim to form a government. Opposition parties were also expected to thrash out a prime ministerial face ahead of the announcement of results. With key players deciding to give it a skip, the meeting looks entirely inconsequential now.

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