Expecting BJP to fall short of majority considerably, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi is convening a meeting of leaders of non-NDA parties on May 23, the day of counting of votes in the Lok Sabha elections, in a bid to keep the saffron party out of power.
Gandhi is understood to have invited leaders of secular parties including NCP chief Sharad Pawa, DMK chief M K Stalin, RJD and TMC for the meeting on a day the results will be out.
A team of four Congress leaders is said to have been formed for coordinating on the issue, sources said.
The team, comprising senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, P Chidambaram, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot, is said to be working on ways to stitch a post-poll coalition of like-minded parties, the sources said.
Everybody is working hard to sway fence sitters and the Congress was also seeing a change in the tone of leaders like Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. Rao has recently met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and DMK chief M K Stalin as part of his efforts to form a third front government.
There were reports that Rao and the chief of YSRCP Congress Jaganmohan Reddy have also been invited but there was no confirmation.
The sources said Congress was confident that BJP was not going to get majority and that was why it wanted to put in place a front to outsmart the rival BJP in case of a hung Parliament
They further added that Ghulam Nabi Azad has already stated that Congress is not keen on the Prime Minister’s post so that it should not come in the way.