Regional players likely to align in Lok Sabha
In an attempt at isolating the Congress and denying it the principal opposition space, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal have begun talks for floor coordination in the new Lok Sabha.
The three parties, commanding 91 seats (AIADMK: 37 in Tamil Nadu, TMC: 34 in West Bengal and BJD: 20 in Odisha) in the Lower House, see an opportunity to combine their strengths to function as a “bloc” in the new House and act in a unified way to have a better profile than the Congress.
The TMC is trying to bring about an understanding on the posts of the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Speaker and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
The party has reached out to the AIADMK to explore some of these issues, sources close to the ruling party in Chennai say. The AIADMK and the BJD are already on the same page on some of the issues concerning the development of the two States.
The BJD will decide on coordination with the AIADMK and other parties at a meeting of the Parliamentary Party on Saturday at the Bhubaneswar residence of Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.
BJD MP Baijayant Panda said: “The Chief Minister has already said that we will work with a positive attitude in Parliament.”
During the election campaign, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mooted a “federal front’ of non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties and even openly said that she had no problem in supporting Ms. Jayalalithaa for the Prime Minister’s post. At the other end, Ms. Jayalalithaa continues to have cordial ties with her Odisha counterpart, Naveen Patnaik, whom she had even described as her “brother” when he had come down to Chennai.