"Every party, every group is negotiating and everybody is in everybody's strategy."
This was the punchline delivered by JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav today as political parties worked overtime to stitch post-poll alliances that can take a shot at government formation and even reached out to rivals with just four days left for the D-day--May 16 vote count.
War room meetings were underway as the Congress, BJP and the Left reworked strategies and scouted for new allies while it was a case of of who will blink first on the possibility of Samajwadi joining the Third Front, a grouping of Left and regional parties. Samajwadi also set conditions like "No BSP".
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's telephone call to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose secular credentials he had questioned yesterday also provided fodder for intense speculation, especially after the JD(U) leader rebuffed Congress' overtures.
But Kumar made it clear no political message be read and that he was firmly with the NDA. "The call is not for anything about me but about welfare of Bihar," he said. Adding the conversation related to the kosi flood relief row.
And there was no dearth of claims by major alliances about new allies gravitating towards them.
BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said, "Any party which is willing to support Advani as Prime Minister, any party which is willing to work with the NDA is welcome. This is the general stand and there are a number of people who are inclined towards us."