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Maya's call to Naidu raises UNPA's hopes

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | July 13, 2008 19:01 IST
Last Updated: July 13, 2008 19:54 IST

Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu's [Images] efforts to strengthen the United National Progressive Alliance of smaller parties got a shot in the arm when Bahujan Samaj Party president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati spoke to him over phone on Sunday.

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Naidu is keen to enrol BSP into the 'Third Front', known as UNPA to fill the gap left by the departure of Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party recently to join hands with the UPA.

Mayawati called Naidu when he was touring through Khammam district on Sunday as part of his Mee Kosam Yatra. The call came amid the indications that the Left parties were planning a grand alliance with the UNPA and the BSP to take on the UPA and NDA in the next elections.

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According to the sources, Naidu and Mayawati discussed the current political situation arising out of the left parties withdrawing their support from Manmohan Singh [Images] government over the Indo-US nuclear deal issue.

The two leaders also discussed the upcoming trial of strength in Parliament in which both the TDP and the BSP have committed themselves to vote against the UPA government.

It was also interesting that Mayawati called Naidu soon after the CPIM general secretary Prakash Karat met her in Lucknow on Sunday to discuss the political situation.

Sources in TDP said Naidu was going to visit Delhi in next few days to meet leaders of the Left and other parties before the tribal of strength in Lok Sabha. He was also expected to meet Mayawati during the visit.

However, sources said the issue of BSP joining the UNPA did not come up during the telephonic conversation of the two leaders. There is a possibility of the issue being discussed when the two leaders meet.

Sources said that if Mayawati joins the UNPA, the Third Front can project her as the next prime minister, if the Left also approves this idea. Naidu needs Mayawati as the gap left by Mulayam Singh Yadav has to be filled and make UNPA's presence felt in North India.

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