Oppn par­ties...

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - MYINDIAMYVOTE -

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,kar­natakachiefmin­is­ter 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. Save democ­racy, save the na­tion and save the in­sti­tu­tions-that is the agenda. That is the na­tional agenda, an ut­most im­por­tant agenda,” Naidu said.

Naidu said he had al­ready met politi­cians from a wide spec­trum of op­po­si­tion par­ties in­clud­ing Gandhi, Bahu­jan Sa­maj Party chief Mayawati, Sa­ma­jwadi Party leader Akhilesh Ya­dav, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, Na­tional Con­fer­ence leader Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Left par­ties. The ground­work for the November 22 meet­ing has al­ready been laid, he said.

“Now I have con­vinced ev­ery­body. Ev­ery­body is will­ing to co­op­er­ate with us. In this ex­per­i­ment, Congress is the main op­po­si­tion party. They have more re­spon­si­bil­ity. We have to ac­knowl­edge that,” Naidu said.

The meet­ing will fo­cus on the form and struc­ture of the pro­posed anti-bjp fo­rum and a course of ac­tion to take for­ward the ini­tia­tive. A plan of ac­tion will be drafted to fight the NDA govern­ment over its al­leged use of agen­cies such as the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (CBI) and the in­come tax depart­ment to set­tle scores with po­lit­i­cal ri­vals, dis­man­tling of demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions for po­lit­i­cal gains and the lin­ger­ing “ill-ef­fects” of the 2016 ban on high-value ban­knotes, Naidu and Gehlot said.

The out­come of assem­bly elec­tions due in five states -- Ch­hat­tis­garh, Mad­hya Pradesh, Mi­zo­ram, Ra­jasthan and Te­lan­gana -- will help crys­tallise a re­align­ment of po­lit­i­cal par­ties in favour of the al­ter­na­tive front, Naidu said.

The TDP and Congress lead­ers said it has be­come a demo­cratic com­pul­sion for all the re­spon­si­ble par­ties to come to­gether to op­pose the NDA led by Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. “Af­ter all, it is a call of the na­tion to save the coun­try from the despotic rule of Naren­dra Modi, who will never pay heed to oth­ers,” Naidu said.

Asked whether his bit­ter ri­val K Chan­drasekhar Rao’s Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) will be a part of the pro­posed al­ter­na­tive front, Naidu said the whole po­lit­i­cal sce­nario had been po­larised be­tween par­ties sup­port­ing the NDA and op­pos­ing it. He ap­pealed to the TRS and the All In­dia Anna Dravida Mun­netra Kazhagam in Tamil Nadu to de­cide on which side of the fence they would choose to re­main.

Sa­ma­jwadi Party spokesper­son Ra­jen­dra Chaud­hary said, “I can’t say if our party will at­tend it or not. But SP pres­i­dent Akhilesh Ya­dav has no Delhi visit around November 22”. Two weeks ago, Akhilesh Ya­dav met Naidu in Delhi in the pres­ence of SP pa­tri­arch Mu­layam Singh Ya­dav.

Tri­namool Congress sec­re­tary gen­eral and West Ben­gal ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Partha Chat­ter­jee said only chief min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee could speak on the is­sue.

At her party’s an­nual rally on July 21, Ban­er­jee an­nounced that the TMC would or­gan­ise a pub­lic rally in Kolkata’s Bri­gade Pa­rade grounds on Jan­uary 19, 2019.with lead­ers of all non-bjp par­ties at­tend­ing.

Nawab Ma­lik, spokesper­son of the Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party, said, “Pawarsaab has been talk­ing about the non-bjp al­liance at na­tional level for long and we sup­port the move by Andhra Pradesh chief min­is­ter Chan­drababu Naidu. We will be part of the meet­ing con­vened by him.”

The BJP has,in the past, rub­bished ef­forts to cob­ble to­gether an op­po­si­tion al­liance, claim­ing the party’s de­vel­op­ment agenda will trump any coali­tion. with the Re­serve Bank of In­dia and the Union fi­nance min­istry so that women self-help groups can be ap­pointed as bank­ing cor­re­spon­dents to de­liver money to ben­e­fi­cia­ries in their vil­lages.

“The big­gest chal­lenge for any fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion is last-mile con­nec­tiv­ity. In places where banks are not avail­able al­ready 3,000 SHG women have been trained to be bank cor­re­spon­dence. An­other 2,500 SHGS will be added soon. By end of this fi­nan­cial year, there would be 15,000 to 20,000 women groups work­ing as bank­ing cor­re­spon­dence and earn­ing ₹8,000 to 10,000 per month,” said Sinha.


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