Amaravathi: With the majority of surveys and ground reports pointing to an impending defeat in Andhra Pradesh, TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu has been making strenuous efforts to keep himself and his party afloat by somehow playing a role at the Centre. His multiple visits to West Bengal and New Delhi by projecting himself as a “facilitator” of regional parties lately are indicators in this direction. But it emerges that Chandrababu’s outreach to regional and national parties’ leaders are of no help.
Sensing an opportunity, Chandrababu thought he can have regional parties rally behind him as a UPA – III convenor for an alliance that could come about in the event of BJP’s National Democratic Alliance falling short of numbers and unable to form the government at the Centre. To this effect, he insisted for a meeting of opposition parties on May 21, two days before the announcement of election results. This was basically done with an agenda to propose his name as the convenor for an upcoming coalition of parties. But it is learnt that both West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee and Congress President Rahul Gandhi turned down the offer of Chandrababu with a criticism as how can they go about such plan even before election results are out.
The alacrity with which Chandrababu calling for such a meeting is to find himself in a comfortable position as he would not hold any ground if his party does poorly after the results are declared. But both Mamata Banjeree and Rahul Gandhi have done exactly the same thing of throwing spanners in his efforts aimed at preparing a ground of sorts lest his defeat becomes inevitable.
Despite his camaraderie with Mamata Banerjee in the recent times, word has it that she has expressed severe criticism against Chandrababu’s proposal. She is believed to have asked Chandrababu what is the use of such a meeting, if not for his personal benefit, before the results are declared. With the Opposition split across different states like SP and BSP alliance fighting Congress in Uttar Pradesh, TMC fighting against Congress in Bengal, she is believed to have told Chandrababu that it would send out wrong signals to supporters of different regional parties.
When Banerjee gave him a cold shoulder over his proposal, Chandrababu turned to Congress President Rahul Gandhi. But the Congress President too rejected the proposal of Chandrababu flatly. Gandhi is believed to have opined the same way as Banerjee did about sending about wrong signals to party functionaries.
With the rejection from two major Opposition leaders of a proposal that could probably save his face from a drubbing in Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu’s plan of “playing a vital role” at the Centre is soon turning out to be a pipe dream.