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Who Will President Invite First? Opposition Arch-rivals Race Against BJP to Form Larger Pre-poll Pact

The discussions between disparate groups - even with those having strong ideological differences - are primarily aimed to seek first invite from the President if the Lok Sabha polls throw up a fractured house.

News18.com

Updated:February 14, 2019, 12:26 PM IST
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Who Will President Invite First? Opposition Arch-rivals Race Against BJP to Form Larger Pre-poll Pact
New Delhi: (L-R) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, NCP President Sharad Pawar and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah during AAP's 'Tanashahi Hatao, Desh Bachao' (Remove Dictatorship, Save Country) rally at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (PTI)
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New Delhi: In the last leg of the race for the next government formation at the Centre, both NDA and opposition parties have started to stitch a formal umbrella coalition at the national level to emerge as the single largest pre-poll alliance in case of a hung house.

The discussions between disparate groups - even with those having strong ideological differences - are primarily aimed to seek first invite from the President if the Lok Sabha polls throw up a fractured house.

At the Aam Aadmi Party rally in Delhi, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee's announcement to eke out a working relationship with the Congress and the Left at the Centre is being seen as part of the larger game plan of the opposition.

A Bengal specific, anti-TMC alliance of the Left and Congress also suits the West Bengal CM as it tends to restrict BJP's catchment area of being the sole repository of anti-establishment votes.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, now playing a key emissary to unite opposition against BJP, has also hinted at a possibility of a formal pre-poll tie up ahead of the elections.

"Except for one district and a particular family in AP, Congress has hardly any presence in the state. But still we may have some truck with the party," said a TDP leader families with developments.

Recent statements by CPM and Congress leaders in Kerala also allude towards a re-conciliatory tactical approach between arch rivals to keep BJP at bay.

BJP's desperate attempts to soften its estranged allies is not only an attempt to bolster its own strength, but emerge as the numerically largest pre-poll coalition.

The concessions granted to Bihar allies and BJP's current negotiations with Shiv Sena and AIADMK are being done with an eye on any post-poll eventuality.

Constitution confers discretionary powers on the President of India in extending invite for the formation of the government in case of a fractured mandate.

In 1996, the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma invited Atal Bihari Vajpayee to form the government when BJP emerged as the single largest party. Vajpayee had to resign after he failed to prove majority.

In Goa and Manipur recently, Governor ignored the claims of Congress as the single largest party and extended an invite to the BJP. In both cases, the BJP claimed support of a majority MLAs in the house.

In Karnataka however, the Governor invited BS Yeddyurappa, the leader of the single largest party to form the government despite Congress and JDS joining hands to keep BJP out of power.

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