Telugu Desam Party supremo and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is slowly preparing Congress president Rahul Gandhi to be part of the opposition parties in forming the next government. Chandrababu Naidu, who is currently in the national capital held a one-to-one meeting with the Congress chief on Wednesday, before leaving to Kolkata to campaign for Trinamool Congress chief Mamatha Benerji. Both Rahul and Chandrababu Naidu are understood to have discussed the poll trends of the last five phases and asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party and its NDA were losing the election. The two leaders agreed that it would be the non-BJP and non-NDA government at the Centre that would be formed. They visualised the defeat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this election and asserted the need to firm up the opposition unity to stake claims to form the next government.
Rahul Gandhi, who is aspiring for the prime minister post, is facing stiff competition from the opposition leaders like Mamatha Benerji and the Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawathi as of now. If the Congress also fails to get the numbers, it would have to depend on the other non-NDA parties for the support. Since both Mayawati and Mamatha Benerji are in the race for the top slot, the Congress chief would have to compromise with his competitors, if only he is serious about keeping the BJP away from power. It is here Chandrababu Naidu is playing a key role to convince Rahul Gandhi and other leaders to have a consensus leader for the opposition parties.
Sources say that Chandrababu Naidu had hinted at the opposition parties meeting in Delhi on May 21, two days ahead of the counting, and elect a consensus candidate for the prime minister post. This, according to Chandrababu Naidu, is required to keep the BJP and Narendra Modi out of power. While it is not known what Rahul Gandhi told Chandrababu Naidu about a consensus leader, the Congress chief is equally strong on keeping Narendra Modi out of power. All is not well between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi and the relations are strained during this round of electioneering.
It is to be seen what Rahul Gandhi would do with the opposition parties to keep BJP and Narendra Modi out of power.