New Delhi, Nov.11:
Parties opposed to the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance will hold their first meeting in New Delhi on November 22 for talks on the proposed joint front for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP and Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot announced on Saturday.
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, who has met several Opposition leaders in the past few days, said he will be meeting 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.
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).
He had visited Bengaluru on Thursday to meet Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular) and his father and former prime minister HD Devegowda.
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.
The TDP and Congress leaders said it became a democratic compulsion for all the responsible parties to come together to oppose the “fascist” rule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.