With just under 10 days left for election results,post-poll posturing gained momentum on Thursday with Samajwadi party setting conditions for their support while attempts were made to clear the air on Congress’ ties with DMK and Trinamool.
Rival alliances–UPA and NDA– also voiced optimism in winning new allies to shore up their numbers.
Though the general refrain was that all post-poll arithmetic can wait until May 16 when the votes will be counted,major players conjured possible scenarios with the Lok Sabha elections projected to throw up a hung House.
The Samajwadi Party said it may be “forced” to have a post-poll alliance with Congress but indicated that it would not be without conditions as the party wanted the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh to be dismissed.
“We will support whoever dismisses the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh,” SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said. The Congress quickly rejected the demand.
Yadav’s colleague Amar Singh said,”Since we cannot go with the Third Front as Mayawati is already there,for the sake of secularism,we may be forced to look at Congress.”
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit hinted at post-poll tie-ups for Congress with parties like JD(U) and AIADMK while BJP president Rajnath Singh said his party is engaged in talks with several parties about post-poll alliances.
Following Rahul Gandhi’s overtures to AIADMK which ruffled the DMK,Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was rushed to Chennai where he said Congress’s ties with Karunanidhi’s party was “firm and enduring” and strong enough to win resoundingly. Tamil Nadu goes to polls in the final phase on May 13.
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee said Rahul’s olive branch to the Left for a post-poll tie-up did not hurt the alliance between the two parties in West Bengal.
“The TC-Congress alliance is intact and there is no adverse impact on the alliance by Rahul Gandhi’s comments. There is no confusion on the alliance”,Mamata told PTI,a day after the firebrand leader reportedly made a threat to walk out of UPA if the estranged partners came together after the Lok Sabha polls.
CPI-M set off a buzz when Sitaram Yechury made ambiguous remarks over Rahul’s overtures to Left parties that they will decide on whom to support after the vote count fuelling speculation that it may be in two minds.
But party chief Prakash Karat clearly said the Left was working to form a non-Congress secular government at the Centre.
Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Sheila Dikshit did not rule out a post-poll tieup with AIADMK’s Jayalalithaa. Asked whether options for tie up with the AIADMK were open,the senior Congress leader said “it all depends on how many seats Congress gets”.
To a specific query whether such a tie-up was possible with AIADMK,she quipped “yes”.
The NDA strategy was outlined by BJP chief Rajnath Singh when he said,”If by any chance we fall short of majority,talks are going on with many parties.”
On another front within the NDA,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar firmly ruled out aligning with the Congress in the backdrop of Rahul’s praise of him seen as an attempt to woo the JD(U. “We(JD-U and BJP) are in an alliance in Bihar. It is an alliance government,we don’t think beyond that. There is no question of quitting the NDA.”