Continuing with his efforts to bring together a united opposition front, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has called for a meeting of all non-BJP parties on November 22. The meeting is likely to be held at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in Delhi, subject to the availability of various leaders.
The announcement comes after Mr Naidu held meetings with a series of opposition leaders in the past few weeks.
Earlier today, Mr Naidu, who is president of the Telugu Desam Party, met with Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot in Andhra Pradesh’s capital Amaravati. On Friday, he met DMK supremo MK Stalin in Chennai.
“We are all together in bringing parties on one platform. One or two may have differences of opinion. We (TDP) had differences with Congress for 40 years but at the same time now we are working how to bring together all. Democracy is important. It is for people to sink their differences. People are prepared now,” he told reporters after an hour-long meeting with Mr Stalin at his residence.
Mr Naidu had a meeting with former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Thursday. After the meeting, the three leaders stressed that the need of the hour is to “unite the Opposition” and “save India’s institutions from the BJP”.
Mr Kumaraswamy said that “2019 will be a repeat of 1996” referring to the United Front government supported by Congress from the outside, in which Mr Deve Gowda and later Inder Kumar Gujral became Prime Minister. Mr Naidu was the convener of the United Front, a role he seems to be trying to repeat.
Mr Naidu, who came to Delhi last week and met a string of opposition leaders including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi — whom he is partnering for the coming elections in Telangana — Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah. Over the last weeks, the chief of Telugu Desam Party has been on the go, meeting with Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Telugu Desam Party chief’s efforts are receiving praise from the Congress. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said today that “Chandrababu Naidu has embarked upon a very good effort to establish a secular front government ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections”.