Pawar in contact with BJD, TRS, others ahead of LS results (Lead)

New Delhi: Efforts for Opposition unity have again intensified ahead of the Lok Sabha election results on Thursday as NCP chief Sharad Pawar is in touch with several parties, including the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and the YSR Congress.

“He is getting calls from leaders of all parties,” a Nationalist Congress Party functionary said here.

Pawar is also learnt to be touch with the DMK and Trinamool Congress, two other parties expected to get a large chunk of seats among the opposition parties.

In case of a split verdict, the position taken by the BJD, the TRS, and the YSR Congress will be of crucial importance. The three parties seek to maintain equal distance from the Congress and the BJP.

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Pawar is keen that these three parties back the Congress-led UPA if it is in a position to form the government.

But while the Opposition looks at getting the numbers in case of a split verdict, it has several prime ministerial contenders. Both BSP chief Mayawati and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee are seen to have ambitions for the top job.

Mayawati, in fact, has not hidden her ambitions, announcing that she will fight the Lok Sabha elections, if the need so arises. She has also said she will give the best government at the Centre if she gets an opportunity. She has the backing of the Samajwadi Party, with which it is fighting the UP polls in an alliance.

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Much would depend on the numbers each party musters.

Pawar is a seasoned politician and his voice will carry weight if the Opposition has to choose a prime ministerial candidate.

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has also been criss-crossing state capitals to bring the opposition parties together to prevent the BJP-led government. He has also been vocal in raising apprehensions about the use of EVMS.

The Congress is also keen to take the lead in formation of an alternative government and has kept a petition ready to be given to President Ram Nath Kovind, if the situation so warrants.


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