New Delhi: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday came out in support of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s effort to stitch together a non-Congress Opposition against the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

Speaking to ANI, Yadav said, “Efforts to bring all parties together have been ongoing for many months; I congratulate Telangana Chief Minister for working in this direction. He has been trying to bring together a federal front.”

He added that he would visit Hyderabad to meet KCR. Yadav’s statement assumes significance in the light of similar efforts of bringing Opposition parties together against the BJP are being made by TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

However, the difference there is that Naidu wants the Congress to be very much a part of the conglomerate. UP politicians like Yadav and BSP’s Mayawati haven’t yet taken to the idea of an alliance with the Congress. Neither is happy with even the proposal of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s name as the Prime Ministerial candidate.

Their distancing themselves from the grand old party was also apparent at the recent swearing-in ceremonies of Congress Chief Ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh which both the leaders chose to skip. Naidu has met Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and JDS chief HD Deve Gowda and DMK chief MK Stalin for the same.

On Monday, KCR had met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee as part of his efforts to float a consortium of regional outfits, without the Congress and the BJP, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He had already met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik before that.

Soon after, the Congress accused him of doing “politics of division” and of helping the BJP by proposing a non-Congress national front of other parties. He said the Congress will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in an alliance with a number of other parties and emerge victorious.

“If you talk of exclusion and do not want to ally with those who want to ally with the Congress, then you are doing ‘politics of division’ and you want to help the ruling party… I don’t think other parties will get trapped in this,” he told reporters when asked about the TRS chief’s proposal.

Singhvi said if one wants to keep the principal opposition party out of an alliance, “it becomes clear that they want to help someone else”.