Lok Sabha Election

Sharad Pawar reaches out to KCR, Naveen to cement Opposition unity

Reaching out:  Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar speaking at an ‘iftar‘ in Mumbai.

Reaching out: Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar speaking at an ‘iftar‘ in Mumbai.

Just days before the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has reached out to key Opposition leaders who could play a significant role in case of a hung verdict.

Sources said Mr. Pawar spoke with Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao in the past three days. Though officially the NCP refused to comment on these discussions, a senior party leader categorically denied reports that YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy had avoided speaking to Mr. Pawar.

The NCP chief’s move follows his two rounds of meetings with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu over the weekend.

For a united block

Mr. Naidu has been pushing the idea of a united block of Opposition parties that can approach President Ram Nath Kovind to stake claim as a single entity if results throw up a hung Parliament on Thursday.

Key Opposition leaders argue that no prepoll alliance will get the numbers to comfortably form the government and will need the help of other parties.

In such a scenario, parties like the BJD and TRS could play a significant role.

Opposition strategists argue that a powerful BJP under Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would eventually eclipse its regional partners and hence regional players may be better placed in a federal front government. Opposition leaders also argue that many regional parties run the risk of alienating minority supporters if they join the NDA.

“There are several possibilities and everything depends on the numbers. And until May 23, it is futile to speak about prepoll blocks or alliances. But given Mr. Pawar’s stature in politics, he has opened a channel with like minded parties,” said an Opposition leader requesting anonymity.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 9:32:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/sharad-pawar-reaches-out-to-kcr-naveen-to-cement-opposition-unity/article27199603.ece