Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Thursday, ANI reported. Naidu is trying to unite the Opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.
“Minorities are under tremendous pressure and are insecure, every institution is in danger,” News18 quoted Naidu as saying. “It is our responsibility to join together to protect the nation and save democracy and the Constitution.”
He said the economy is in doldrums because of demonetisation and while the Narendra Modi-led government’s economic policies have caused the devaluation of the rupee.
The meeting came just days after the ruling alliance of the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress won four out of five seats in Assembly and parliamentary bye-elections in the state, with the BJP winning only the parliamentary bye-poll in Shivamogga.
Deve Gowda echoed Naidu’s remarks and said the Modi-led government has created a host of problems, including “destabilising constitutionally created institutions”.
“Now it is the responsibility of all secular parties, including the Congress, to come together to replace the NDA government,” said the former prime minister. “Chandrababu Naidu has taken the lead and met several leaders to consolidate all secular parties to remove the NDA government in 2019.”
Naidu had met Congress President Rahul Gandhi on November 1 to discuss opposition unity. Gandhi had said after the meeting that his party would work with the Telugu Desam Party to “defend democracy and the future of the country”. The “principal idea here is to defeat the BJP”, Gandhi had said.
Naidu met several other leaders during his Delhi trip, including Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Before that, he had held discussions with Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.