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Chandrababu Naidu opens anti-BJP front door, says rival KCR also welcome

According to sources, Naidu is likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the national capital and BSP chief Mayawati in Lucknow Saturday.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 18, 2019 07:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Chandrababu Naidu,TRS,KCR
Chandrababu Naidu has stepped up efforts to bring together parties which are against the BJP ahead of a possible meeting of the grand alliance after the election results are declared on May 23.(Sanjeev Verma/ HT photo)

Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said on Friday that he would welcome any party to be part of an alliance against the Bharatiya Janata Party, once the election results are declared, including the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is in power in neighbouring Telangana.

Naidu met Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Aam Admi Party national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Friday, and discussed with them the possible tie-up in the post-election scenario. He is likely to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the national capital and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati in Lucknow today, news agency PTI reported.

Naidu has stepped up efforts to bring together Opposition parties ahead of a possible meeting of the grand alliance after the general election results are declared on May 23.

“We are welcoming all such parties (which are against the BJP) to be a part of our grand alliance,” Naidu told reporters after a meeting at the Election Commission of India in New Delhi.

He said this in response to a query if a Congress-led grand alliance will join hands with the TRS, whose chief, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao, has articulated his intent to create a federal front, which will comprise regional parties, to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP front.

However, as reported by the Hindustan Times, TRS reached out to the Congress last month, opening a back-channel to explore the possibility of the two parties working together in the event of a hung Parliament.

“I am meeting everybody. Will chalk out a plan after discussing with all leaders,” Naidu added.

The TRS and the TDP are rivals in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Repeated calls and messages to senior TRS parliamentarian B Vinod Kumar and party spokesperson Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, proved futile.

Naidu wrote a letter to the EC on Friday and met Chief Election Officer, Sunil Arora, to question its decision to conduct repolling in five booths in Chandragiri assembly segment of Chittoor parliamentary constituency on May 19, based on complaints by rival YSR Congress party.

Simultaneous general and assembly elections were held for the state’s 25 Lok Sabha and 175 Vidhan Sabha seats on April 11.

“The EC has already conducted repolling in five other polling stations in three districts on May 6, based on certain complaints. If there were any issues in the polling stations in Chandragiri assembly constituency, why didn’t the Commission enquire into the same and conduct the repolling on May 6 itself?” his letter stated.

“The EC took the decision based on the concrete evidences submitted by the returning officers on the malpractices. Why are the TDP leaders worried over re-polling, if they had not indulged in any malpractices? If the people are with the TDP, they will vote for it again,” YSR Congress spokesman, Ambati Rambabu said.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: May 17, 2019 20:18 IST

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