2019 general elections: Oppn parties plan big for post-poll scenario 

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Chennai: With less than a week left for Lok Sabha election results to be declared, there is hectic action, especially in the Opposition camp. Leaders of regional parties are reportedly holding parleys behind doors to seize the opportunity in case of a fractured mandate.

Though Congress president Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of Opposition parties 23 May evening as soon as the results are out, political observers say that the key players (regional parties) will not jump the gun. They will be on a wait-and-watch mode.
Telangana Chief Minister and TRS leader Chandrasekar Rao has openly given a call for a non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre post-23 May. He set the ball rolling by holding parleys with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, DMK president M K Stalin and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. However, with leaders like Mamata Bannerjee, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati still maintaining silence, suspense lingers on whether the nation will have an alternative to the BJP and Congress post results.
RIGHT MOMENT, SAYS LEFT
Though Stalin had backed the Congress openly until now, sources say that he wants to wait till 23 May to make any stand official. Interestingly, Pinarayi Vijayan openly declared that his meeting with KCR was fruitful and he was certain that neither BJP nor Congress will get a majority. His observation that a political formula is evolving which will be an alternative to both the main parties in the country has been hogging the headlines.
“There is a need for voice of regional parties to be heard loud at the Centre. May be the next government sans two major political parties will serve the purpose,” he had said.
NAIDU SEES NEW PM
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, who played a major role in the formation of a United Front government in 1996, is confident that the country will see a new PM after 23 May. It is time for all like-minded parties to forge a post-poll alliance, he said.
“Parties that were comfortable with each other came together to fight elections. But the situation has changed drastically that even parties that fought against each other have to join out of democratic and secular compulsions,” he said. Ask him about Third Front and he says, “It is not easy to forge one without the Congress and BJP.”
And, expressing his backing for the Congress, the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister says, “Either Congress should lead an alliance or support from outside or it should join the alliance. All these need a lot of deliberations. Hence we are meeting.”
STALIN & HIS PLANS
Having backed Rahul Gandhi for the Prime Minister’s post vehemently for the past few months, Stalin is maintaining silence as far as efforts on forming a Third Front are concerned. Even after his meeting with KCR recently in this regard, Stalin said there are no chances for non-BJP, non-Congress Third Front post Lok Sabha polls. However, what to watch out for were his last words at the media meet. He said, “But a final decision would be taken only after counting on 23 May.”
DEVE GOWDA’S STRATEGY
As far as Karnataka is concerned, Third Front seems to be a myth. Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda has other plans. Sources close to him say that he will go all out to put in place an alliance of regional parties to support Rahul Gandhi for the country’s top post. “Immediately after the Lok Sabha election results are announced, my father Deve Gowda will approach leaders of all Opposition parties and try to bring consensus on making Congress president Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister,” said Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.

M BHARAT KUMAR