On April 21, opposition parties will be meeting in New Delhi to discuss future strategy. However, ANI reported that three key opposition leaders - Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are likely to skip the meet that will be hosted by the Congress.
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has hinted that the grand old party may join hands with regional parties to go past the halfway mark of 272 to form the next government at the Centre. Speaking to reporters in Patna on Wednesday, Azad said that his party will not make an issue if the opposition parties unanimously decide that the prime ministerial candidate should not be a Congressman. He added that that objective of the opposition is to keep the BJP-led NDA out of power.
“We have already made our stand clear. If a consensus is made in the favour of Congress, then the party will take the lead but our aim has always been that NDA government should not come. We will go with the unanimous decision,” he said.
“We are not going to make an issue that we (Congress) will not let anyone else become the Prime Minister if it is not offered to us (Congress),” the Congress leader added.
Several opposition leaders including TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and NCP supremo Sharad Pawar have been claiming that though opposition parties are contesting against each other in many states, they are on the same page on keeping the BJP out of power and will come together post-declaration of the Lok Sabha elections results on May 23.
The BJP-led NDA camp, on the other hand, has been daring the opposition to name its prime ministerial candidate if it was sure of victory in the elections. The NDA leaders are alleging that there is no consensus between the opposition leaders and that leaders are only serving their self-interest.
Ahead of the elections, the Congress was pitching Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the opposition and wanted to name him as the prime ministerial candidate. Rahul’s candidature was even endorsed by DMK’s MK Stalin, Chandrababu Naidu, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav. However, reservation expressed by several leaders like BSP’s Mayawati and TMC’s Mamata Banerjee on Rahul’s style of leadership dented the Congress party’s plans. Most recently, BSP supremo Mayawati broke her silence on her PM ambition when she told a crowd in Ambedkar Nagar that she may contest Lok Sabha election “if all goes well”.
On April 21, opposition parties will be meeting in New Delhi to discuss future strategy. According to news agency ANI, at least three key opposition leaders – Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and her ally Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav are likely to skip the post-election opposition meet that will be hosted by the Congress.
The seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will end on May 19 and the results will be declared on May 23. The tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha ends on June 3.