Oppn parties to meet on Nov 22 to discuss anti-bjp platform: Naidu
VIJAYAWADA: Parties opposed to the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (Bjp)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre will get together for the first time on November 22 in an initiative to be spearheaded by the Congress to form an alternative political front ahead of general elections next year.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ashok Gehlot made the announcement on Saturday. Gehlot visited Naidu at the latter’s residence in Amaravati as an emissary of Congress president Rahul Gandhi to discuss the specifics of the November 22 meeting.
“I have requested Rahulji to lead the initiative as a leader of the principal opposition party and he obliged,” Naidu told a joint press conference later, adding that Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi was the likely venue.
Naidu has been playing a leading role in efforts to cobble together an alternative to the NDA, which he quit in March.
He had left the alliance on being denied special category status for Andhra Pradesh that would have made the state eligible for central grants to fund development projects. This week, Naidu met Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader MK Stalin, Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his father and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda. The TDP is also part of a Congress-led opposition alliance that is fighting the upcoming Telangana assembly elections.
Naidu 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.
“This is a broadly anti-bjp platform. This is in the interest of the nation,” Naidu said.