Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Naidu Meets Rahul After Calling for Anti-BJP Front to ‘Save Democracy’

This is Naidu’s second visit to the capital within a week, as he seeks to position himself as a leader who could fashion the anti-NDA alliance ahead of the 2019 general elections.

 

New Delhi, Nov 1 : In a move that indicates Opposition parties going into a huddle the Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday indicating that the Telugu Desam Party is likely to join the national Opposition front against the BJP,.

Naidu, taking up the position as facilitator of the grand alliance against the BJP for General Elections 2019, also held parleys with Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah in Delhi, and called a meeting of all non-BJP leaders to “Save Democracy, Save Country”.

Rivals for over three decades, the TDP and the Congress, have already joined hands for the Telangana Assembly elections to defeat K Chandrashekar Rao’s TRS, and are likely to do the same for the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Naidu “coincidentally” also met senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here and briefly discussed about the need to bring all non-BJP political parties together.

Earlier, in an official statement, the TDP hinted at “the likelihood of a key announcement with regards to the emerging political equations. We decided to meet in Delhi to chalk out a plan to protect the future of the nation,” said Naidu after the meeting.

Referring to the current state of institutions in the country, Pawar pointed out how situation in the CBI, the ED and the RBI is deteriorating.  “Save democracy, save country is the need of the hour. Chandrababu Naidu will speak to all leaders and call a meeting,” said Pawar.

This was Naidu’s second visit to the capital within a week, and sources said he could make one visit every week for the next few months to cement the mahagathbandhan. On Saturday, he had met Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal and Sharad Yadav.

Naidu has been at the forefront of coalition politics on the national stage previously too, as he twice was the convener of the grand opposition alliance – in 1995 and in 1998.

Since the TDP broke away from the NDA earlier this year over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh, Naidu has lost no opportunity to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government.

With the constant attacks, political analysts say, Naidu hopes to amplify his opposition to Modi which would not only help him on the national stage, but also within Andhra Pradesh, which would also go to polls next year.

Simultaneously, he has hinted he has no problem with being a part of a national alliance with the Congress, saying there could not be one without there being one national party in the mix. The stance has surprised observers as the Congress was seen as the villain behind the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

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