Call intensifies speculation on federal front

Opening up further possibilities of a post-poll realignment of regional parties, AIADMK general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa telephoned her West Bengal counterpart and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banarjee on Friday just two days after the AIADMK snapped ties with the Left.

Adding to speculation on Ms. Banerjee’s moves to give shape to a ‘federal front’ of regional parties, Ms. Jayalalithaa was reported to have discussed the Lok Sabha poll scenario during the conversation. There was no immediate word from either side on the details of what transpired between the two powerful Chief Ministers, but significantly, Ms. Jayalalithaa took the effort to make the call a day after Ms. Banerjee said she had no problem in supporting the AIADMK leader’s efforts to become Prime Minister.

The AIADMK chief, now without any pre-poll ally, is believed to have told Ms. Banerjee she would like to discuss the question of an alliance after the elections.

The West Bengal Chief Minister has been advocating the formation of an alliance at the Centre that excludes the Congress, the BJP and the Left.

However, TDP leader N. Chandrababu Naidu, Odisha Chief Minister and BJD leader Naveen Patnaik, YSR Congress leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, and Ms. Jayalalithaa herself have not entirely ruled out an alliance with the BJP or the Left after the elections.

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