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Sonia kicks off Project 272 with May 23 invite to political heavyweights

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Gathbandhan partners and Yadav could be the most prominent faces of Sonia Gandhi's much talked- about May 23 meeting. Neutral players and K Chandrashekhar Rao are also being approached.

In a bid to muster the support of old friends and lead the opposition front, has sent letters to all key players, including former chief ministers, and Yadav, for the May 23 meeting, the day results of the elections are to be announced.

Letters have also been shot off to key allies, DMK and Nationalist Party (NCP) for working out instant strategies to stake claim for forming the government at the Centre, in case the NDA, led by incumbent Narendra falls short of the majority mark.

Among those who have confirmed their participation at the meeting are NCP's and M.of the DMK.

had almost taken the back seat after was elected of the However, as the election results draw closer, she returns to take the leadership role to forge a grand opposition alliance which had unfortunately failed last year.

Besides neutral players such as of the and (TRS), is eyeing the support of and Yadav who are expected to secure big numbers if the caste chemistry of votes succeeds in the cow belt.

Party sources said that Sonia Gandhi has stepped into alliance building efforts even before the results are out. She has reportedly been in touch with both Mayawati and and also

Despite remaining out of the pre-poll alliance (gathbandhan) in Uttar Pradesh, leaders have been in constant touch with the BSP and SP leadership. During the poll campaign in UP, chose to remain silent on Mayawati and Akhilesh while launching an open attack on the BJP and RSS.

In several seats in the state, the Congress fielded candidates from the upper castes to cut into the of the saffron party. In return, the gathbandhan did not contest and Amethi, the traditional seats held by the Gandhi family. Now Sonia Gandhi's latest communique to Mayawati and makes it evident that the gathbandhan leaders are also keen to join the to consolidate opposition fraternity.

Speaking to IANS, the of Samajwadi Party, I.said the gathbandhan would be the ultimate winner in and would secure at least 60 seats making the SP-BSP alliance the biggest challenger to the BJP. "Akhileshji has the highest regard for Soniaji and our party will certainly play an important role in government formation after May 23," said Singh.

In its latest internal poll survey, SP has been expecting around 26 seats (out of 37 being contested), though it appears to be an elevated number in the wake of Modi's marathon rallies in the state after the second phase.

Sources said in the proposed meeting and Mayawati would be the prominent faces besides Sharad Pawar, and M.who are certain to be present. Sources said Congress leaders, particularly Ahmed Patel, are also reaching out to and K Chandrashekhar Rao. Efforts are also being made to approach YSRCP's Jaganmohan Reddy.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 18:52 IST