Why this urgency?

While the UPA has reportedly called for a meeting of its allies, leaders of the so-called third front are busy meeting each other. The ruling NDA, for its part, has invited its partners for dinner in New Delhi tonight. With less than 48 hours left for the Lok Sabha election results to come out, a sense of urgency is apparently prevailing among parties and leaders, especially after the declaration of exit poll results. Instead, they should wait for the real results before firming up strategies and teams.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday discussed with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee possibilities of forming a non-BJP government of regional parties with the support of the Congress at the Centre in the event of a hung Parliament. Naidu held a 45-minute-long meeting with Mamata on the future strategies of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (Grand Alliance), The meeting also discussed possibilities of forming a non-BJP government of regional parties with the support of the Congress, reports said.

The two leaders did not take any question from the waiting mediapersons at Mamata’s ancestral Kalighat residence. Unfazed by exit poll predictions of TDP’s poor showing in its home State and also a reduced number for TMC in the parliamentary election, the two prominent regional leaders went ahead with their efforts to form an alternative government at the national level. Naidu, making efforts to bring together Opposition leaders against the BJP, left for New Delhi after the meeting. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav telephoned Mamata during the day and discussed the proposed strategy of the ‘Mahagatbandhan’, it is said. The TDP president had on Sunday called on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and also met CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury. On Saturday, he had met BSP chief Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav. All these things can be put on hold till 23 May.

NT Bureau