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Sunday 19 January 2020

Sonia back to forging opposition unity as Rahul left job unattended

Party president Rahul Gandhi did not work towards building the confidence of opposition leaders in the Congress’s ability to act as a glue for the mutually disparate forces, said a source

New Delhi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has convened a meeting of non-NDA parties on 23 May, the day election results are to be announced. According to party sources, Congress believes that the BJP will not get a majority in Parliament in this election. In view of this, the UPA chief sent an invitation to the leaders of all ‘secular’ parties. Among them are NCP chief Sharad Pawar, DMK chief MK Stalin, RJD and leaders of the Trinamool.

To forge an opposition unity, the Congress has formed a team of four leaders: Ahmed Patel, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot.

Task for Sonia cut out

But while the Congress is constantly monitoring the changing attitude of leaders of other parties, whose own fates are not quite secure in the one State each where they exist, their number of seats together would be considerable, said a source. He added that party president Rahul Gandhi did not work towards building their confidence in the Congress’s ability to act as a glue for the mutually disparate forces.

Now Sonia Gandhi is reaching out to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (or KCR) as well who is but interested in a post-poll alliance that would be as much bereft of the Congress as it would be without the BJP. In this regard, he has held meetings with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan.

Rao met with DMK chief MK Stalin as well who is but already in the UPA. The purpose of Rao was to mull over the formation of a third front government.

Sonia Gandhi had sent an invite to Chief Minister Rao and YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, although the second invite is not confirmed. KCR’s Telangana Rashtriya Samithy (TRS) said that it could take the Congress together for the formation of a third front government, but the party refuses to hand over the leadership to Rahul Gandhi.

Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad has, in the meantime, said that the party is not very anxious about the post of Prime Minister. This post will not come in the way of the party’s efforts to form the next government.

One leader who trusts Rahul

One person who is but upbeat about Rahul is RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. He said on Thursday that the Congress president would play a key role in the formation of the new government. He said that the BJP had failed to fulfil its promises. He said he wanted an end to the “politics of hate”.

In Bihar, the RJD, Congress, National Lok Samata Party, Hindustan Awami Morcha and the Vikassheel Insaan Party are contesting the election together. Tejashwi claims that this ‘mahagathbandhan’ will win in the State although, throughout the past two months, what made news about the RJD was not its campaign but the feud in Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family between the brothers Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav.

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