Chandrababu Naidu and Rahul Gandhi (File Photo)
The opposition parties are likely to meet on May 21, two days after polling concludes and two days before the votes are counted, to decide on a prime ministerial face, according to sources.
The reported development comes after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday and discussed plans to chalk out a post-poll alliance.
Naidu met Gandhi before heading out to West Bengal to attend public rallies in support of the ruling Trinamool Congress in the state, sources said.
Naidu will be meeting West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee apart from attending her rallies on Wednesday and Thursday.
Naidu, who parted ways with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in March this year over the Centre’s refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, has of late emerged as a “facilitator” to bring together all opposition parties to stop the BJP juggernaut in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.
His attempts to carve out a ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) last year met a roadblock owing to the prime ministerial ambitions of leaders like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Mayawati.
On the other hand, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who met his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday with his idea of a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front, is believed to be trying to gain a “backdoor entry” into the opposition’s joint alliance, if any such gets formed, according to a News18 report.
He was scheduled to meet DMK president M K Stalin on May 13 and also held talks with JDS chief and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Rao was hopeful that both the DMK and the JDS – allies of the Congress – would get on board with his idea of federal front. However, he was told by them inclusion of the grand old party was necessary.