NEW DELHI :
The Congress reached out to like-minded opposition parties on Thursday saying that it was open to the idea of a leader from another party becoming the next prime minister of the country.
The Congress’ move comes barely a week before the announcement of the results of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The move is also significant considering that the Congress is trying to stitch together an alliance of parties opposed to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the last phase of polling takes place on Sunday.
“We are in the last phase of elections and I can say on the basis of my experience during campaigning across the country that neither the BJP nor the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is going to return to power at the centre. Narendra Modi is also not going to become the Prime Minster for the second time...A non-NDA, non-BJP government will be installed at the centre after the Lok Sabha elections," said Ghulam Nabi Azad, the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
It would be good if there is a consensus on a Congress leader’s name for heading the government at the centre after the Lok Sabha election results are out but “we are not going to make it an issue that we (Congress) will not let any other (leader) to become the prime minister, if it is not offered to us", Azad said.
The sole objective of the Congress was to install a non-NDA government at the centre, he said.
Senior leaders of the Congress also plan to reach out to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the YSR Congress Party for support, if the opposition gets an opportunity to form the government at the centre. All the three regional parties have so far refrained from joining the NDA.
“It is natural that political parties, primarily national parties, take the lead in such discussions and start talking to regional parties when the elections are about to end. It happens during every general elections. There is still time for such discussions," said a senior BJD leader.
PTI contributed to this story.
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