India Elections : Rahul woos Left, JD-U and TDP

Opening the door to multiple choices after the elections, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Tuesday made overtures to the Left and also reached out to key NDA ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Third Front partner Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Addressing a press conference, Rahul Gandhi at the outset declared that the Congress would form the next government and reiterated that Manmohan Singh would be the UPA’s prime ministerial candidate post Election 2009.Rahul Gandhis confident assertion on Tuesday that his party would get support from many quarters after the elections, sources said, was the reflection of the behind-the-scene moves and calculations that party leadership has been making during the elections.

The first leader from his party to do so openly, Gandhi praised rivals Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP, and talked about the Congresss common ground with the Left. This was clearly a bid to isolate the BJP, undercut the Third Front and project the Congress as the pivot of a coalition after the results come in on May 16.

At an hour-long press conference before the fourth phase of polling on Thursday, Gandhi claimed the Congress was not going to sit in Opposition, claiming that the party would be the only option for regional parties after May 16.

NDA does not exist on the ground. It exists in the mind of the BJP, he said, before praising Nitish and Naidu. He even mentioned AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa suggesting that the Congress could have new allies after the polls.

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