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Chandrababu Naidu calls meeting of opposition parties on Nov 22 to form anti-BJP front

Naidu met Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot in Andhra Pradesh's capital Amaravati.

New Delhi: Furthering his continued efforts to stitch a united opposition front for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has sought a meeting of all non-BJP parties on November 22. The meeting is expected to take place at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in Delhi, subject to the availability of various leaders.

Addressing a joint press conference with Gehlot, who had been sent by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Amravati to discuss details of the meet, Naidu said, “I have requested Rahulji to lead the initiative as a leader of the principal opposition party and he has obliged”.

The November 22 meeting will focus on the form and structure of the proposed anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) forum and a course of action to take forward the initiative further. Besides, a plan of action will be drafted to fight the Narendra Modi government over its alleged anti-people policies such as use of official agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income Tax department to settle scores with political rivals, dismantling of institutions and the “ill-effects” of the note ban, the leaders said.

Naidu’s recent efforts

  • The announcement comes after Naidu held meetings with a series of opposition leaders in the past few weeks.
  • In two trips to Delhi – on October 23 and November 1, Naidu met leaders from a wide spectrum of opposition parties including Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and his father and party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (DMK) leader MK Stalin and leaders of the Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist).
  • 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”.
  • Kumaraswamy said that “2019 will be a repeat of 1996” referring to the United Front government supported by Congress from the outside, in which Deve Gowda and later Inder Kumar Gujral became Prime Minister. Naidu was the convener of the United Front, a role he seems to be trying to repeat.
  • He has further stated that he will hold a meeting with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on November 19. “I am already in touch with her over phone and she will be part of the joint mission”, he said.

Naidu, chief of the Telugu Desam Party, Saturday said that the outcome of assembly elections scheduled in five states in November-December will help crystalise realignment of political parties in favour of the alternative front. Chhattisgarh goes to the polls November 12 and 20, while voting will be held in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on November 28 and in Rajasthan and Telangana on December 7. Counting will be held on December 11.

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