Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu met several Opposition leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday and held discussions about creating an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party front ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported.
Among the leaders Naidu met were Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, National Conference Chairman Farooq Abdullah, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Naidu’s latest visit to Delhi came a few days after the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party announced an alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
After meeting Naidu, Pawar said they discussed and accepted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s invitation to attend on January 19 a rally in Kolkata, where they may meet other leaders.
“We have not met them [other party leaders], neither we have discussed with them... But both of us are going to suggest to them after the rally, let us sit together and discuss the future course of action,” said Pawar. “And if there is agreement, then start agreeing with the programme that we have finalised after the rally.”
Naidu said he expected all Opposition leaders to attend the Kolkata rally where “the future course of action” will be decided. “On January 19, we will meet and discuss and if necessary, we will have a meeting in Delhi,” he said.
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister said that Opposition unity was a “democratic compulsion” to save the nation. “There may be some political compulsions in some states,” he said. “But, at the national level, how to come together... that’s what we are working on.”
Naidu is also likely to call on Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and Janata Dal (Secular) President HD Deve Gowda during his Delhi visit, the Hindustan Times reported.
‘Will take time and think about joining the alliance’
Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said he wanted more time to decide on joining the grand alliance of Opposition parties, IANS reported. “As far as ‘mahagathbandhan’ is concerned, we will take some time and think it over,” he said.
Patnaik was a part of the Biju Janata Dal’s day-long protest in New Delhi demanding a hike in minimum support price of paddy.