The united opposition that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was batting for, appeared as much a front against the Congress as the BJP today. As Rahul Gandhi canvassed for votes in Vijaywada, Mr Naidu is crisscrossing the state, accompanied by Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee for part of it.
Both leaders are expected to attend Mr Naidu’s rally at Vishakhapatnam this evening.
All three leaders have been traditional rivals of the Congress and no alliance with the bigger party has materialised with them at the state-level. Mr Kejriwal, the newest of the three to enter politics, has repeatedly blamed the Congress for the situation.
The Congress is contesting all 175 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state – setting up three -cornered contests across the board.
The pitting of opposition candidates against each other had been a major concern of opposition leaders like Mr Naidu, who advised both Ms Banerjee and Mr Kejriwal to form alliances with the Congress, so the anti-BJP votes do not get split.
But the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief, who put behind decades of rivalry to open a dialogue with the Congress last year, had ruled out an alliance in view of the deep antipathy towards the party in the state following the bifurcation of Telangana.
The Congress had failed to win a single Lok Sabha or assembly seat in the state in the 2014 elections.
The Chief Minister’s TDP won 102 of the 175 assembly seats.
Besides Ms Banerjee and Mr Kejriwal, several other opposition leaders are expected to campaign for the TDP leader.
The list includes RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, JDS chief H D Deve Gowda and DMK chief M K Stalin, who are expected to visit the state next week.
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Opposition Rifts Show In 3-Cornered Contest Of Andhra Pradesh – NDTV News