Sources said that TDP MPs on Monday met Trinamul’s floor leaders in both Houses in New Delhi and sought cooperation.
New Delhi: Efforts to cobble up a non-Congress, non-BJP third front to challenge the BJP in 2019 gained momentum with the start of the second half of the Budget Session of Parliament as regional parties like the Trinamul Congress, the DMK, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Telugu Desam Party deciding to coordinate their Parliament strategy.
Sources said that the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which have decided to jointly fight two crucial by-polls in Uttar Pradesh, are also on board.
The manoeuvres in Delhi coincided with Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee reaching out to the DMK, even as Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao continued to receive support for his proposal to form a third front for the betterment of farmers and dalits.
Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi also spoke to Mr Rao over phone and expressed support for the plan to float a third front, the Telangana chief minister’s office said in Hyderabad. Several leaders, including AIMIM chief Asaduddin6 Owaisi, former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and two MPs from Maharashtra, have extended support to Mr Rao’s proposal.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, though part of the NDA, has also been on a warpath demanding special category status for the state from the central government.
Sources said that TDP MPs on Monday met Trinamul’s floor leaders in both Houses in New Delhi and sought cooperation. The TDP MPs also held talks with Congress leaders.
Earlier, Ms Banerjee had a 12-minute telephonic chat with DMK’s M.K. Stalin on Sunday night. She has already spoken to Mr Rao and Shiv Sena chief Udhav Thackarey, sources said.
“It was Mamata Banerjee who proposed the idea of a front of federal parties and all parties are in touch with each other,” Trinamul national spokesperson Derek O’ Brien said.
“Narendra Modi will deliver his last speech as Prime Minister from ramparts of Red Fort on Aug 15, 2018… This is our challenge on behalf of the TMC and all the Opposition parties,” he said. Ms Banerjee has repeatedly expressed her desire to be the face of a united Opposition in 2019. She has refused to be part of any grouping under the leadership of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
The TMC has already blamed the Congress for the BJP landslide victory in Tripura by rejecting its seat-sharing pact.
The effort for a national alliance against the BJP comes close to the SP and the BSP deciding to come together to fight the BJP in the crucial by-polls for Phulpur and Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seats.