The Telugu Desam president, N. Chandrababu Naidu, will meet Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in New Delhi on July 3 to persuade the latter not to join hands with the Congress.
Mulayam Singh is also the chairman of the newly-formed United National Progressive Alliance, which is being projected as the third front to fight the Congress and the BJP. Naidu is its convener.
Ever since the news spread that Mulayam Singh was considering extending support to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in case the Left Front withdraws from the national alliance, Naidu has been trying to keep the UNPA flock together. The UNPA had already suffered a major setback when the AIADMK led by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalitha pulled out of it.
Though the UNPA has more than half a dozen partners, only the Telugu Desam and the Samajwadi Party had considerable political influence with sitting legislators and MPs.
Chandrababu Naidu does not want to lose the support of the Samajwadi Party as it would shatter his dreams of forging a national political alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.