Continuing his outreach to non-BJP parties to cobble up support for a third front before 23 May, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandra Babu Naidu met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar at his residence in New Delhi on Sunday.
This was the second time in as many days that Naidu met Pawar. The two leaders had earlier met on Saturday. He also met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today, which, too, was the second time since Saturday.
“The campaigning of this Lok Sabha Election 2019 has ended and as we await the last phase of polling, Andhra Pradesh CM Shri N Chandrababu Naidu paid me a visit to discuss the on going and future political scenario of our country. @ncbn,” Pawar tweeted on Saturday after the meeting.
The campaigning of this Lok Sabha Election 2019 has ended and as we await the last phase of polling, Andhra Pradesh CM Shri N Chandrababu Naidu paid me a visit to discuss the on going and future political scenario of our country.@ncbn pic.twitter.com/iNYtqqaAFN
— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) May 18, 2019
Besides Gandhi, Naidu held meetings with Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav in Delhi on Saturday.
He had then flew down to Lucknow for meetings with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav.
Reports say that meeting with Yadav lasted 70 minutes and that with Mayawati also lasted an hour.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Hon”ble Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu Ji to Lucknow,” Akhilesh Yadav tweeted after the meeting.
It is a pleasure to welcome Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri N Chandrababu Naidu Ji to Lucknow pic.twitter.com/B2SKJlG5PK
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 18, 2019
Naidu gifted both Akhilesh and Mayawati a box of mangoes each.
It was not clear what the leaders discussed but speculations are rife that Naidu is trying to forge an alliance ahead of the announcement of Lok Sabha election results on 23 May.
On Friday, he said that all parties, including rival K Chandrashekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), were welcome to join the non-BJP Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).
The TDP chief also met the Election Commission on Friday and accused it of being biased and pro-government.
Naidu, a former NDA ally, has been meeting opposition leaders since before the start of Lok Sabha elections. He has in the past met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Reports say that Naidu might meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her residence today in evening.