Grand Coalition Plans Hit by Exit Poll Roadblock? Rumour Mills Abuzz as BSP Denies Maya's Meet With Sonia
The meeting was being seen as an effort to push for an anti-NDA bloc ahead of the Lok Sabha election result on May 23.
File photo of Mayawati, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
The Bahujan Samaj Party on Monday clarified that its chief Mayawati would not be holding any meetings with opposition leaders in the national capital today, a day after reports surfaced that the former UP chief minister was scheduled to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
“Mayawati ji has no programme or meetings scheduled in Delhi today, she will be in Lucknow,” senior BSP leader Satish Chandra Mishra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The meeting was being seen as an effort to push for an anti-NDA bloc ahead of the Lok Sabha election result on May 23. The two sides were brought together by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, who has recently held a flurry of meetings with opposition leaders to rally support for a grand alliance. Naidu had met Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and her alliance partner — Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav — on Saturday.
Bringing on board the BSP chief in the alliance would be a major boost for the joint opposition. Earlier, there had been reports that Mayawati was not keen on any meeting before the declaration of the result.
Mayawati, although had earlier on been a part of the opposition meetings, had decided to keep the Congress out of the gathbandhan in Uttar Pradesh, dealing a major blow to the grand old party’s prospects in the crucial state. She has also lately been open about her ambitions to occupy the PM’s post, and has received backing from Akhilesh Yadav. But even when she attacked the Congress, she was careful of not taking on the Gandhis directly, and had even asked the gathbandhan support base to vote for Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi in Amethi and Rae Bareli respectively.
The development also comes just a day after exit polls for the 2019 election showed a thumping victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The predictions, however, are divided for the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. While some have given an edge to the mahagathbandhan, the others have predicted BJP way ahead in UP. On the other hand, the exit polls have shown BJP climbing down to 71 seats from 80 it had won in the state in last general polls.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha results, the opposition parties have been regrouping to formulate a strategy in case the NDA falls short of the majority mark and there is a need to stake claim to form the government quickly. News18 had earlier reported that Sonia Gandhi has now taken on the mantle of forming the grand coalition and is likely to host a meeting of all major stakeholders in the opposition either on the day of the result or the day after.
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