Naidu vis­its DMK chief Stalin to bol­ster anti-bjp front bid

Millennium Post - - Nation - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

CHEN­NAI: As­sert­ing that he was not the face of the anti-bjp front which he is try­ing to forge, Andhra Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter N Chan­drababu Nadu on Fri­day said the ques­tion of who would lead the al­liance would be taken up later.

Naidu, af­ter vis­it­ing DMK pres­i­dent M K Stalin as part of his ef­forts to cob­ble up a front against the saf­fron party, lauded the Dra­vid­ian party leader as be­ing bet­ter than Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

Asked by re­porters if he was the face of the al­liance, Naidu said "No, I am not the face of this al­liance. You have to un­der­stand that. I am very clear I am not an as­pi­rant, I am only a fa­cil­i­ta­tor... I will bring every­body to­gether. we will de­cide and take things for­ward." On who would lead the al­liance,he said there were so many lead­ers. "Even Stal­inji is bet­ter than Naren­dra Modiji... there are strong lead­ers...we will work that out and de­cide."

While Rahul Gandhi led Congress has a pan In­dian pres­ence, Naidu de­scribed re­gional lead­ers, in­clud­ing him­self, West Ben­gal Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee, Stalin and Deve Gowda as strong lead­ers in their re­spec­tive states, who are com­ing to­gether against the BJP. Af­ter a 50-minute meet- Andhra Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter N. Chan­drababu Naidu ad­dresses the me­dia with DMK chief MK Stalin at lat­ter's res­i­dence in Chen­nai on Fri­day

ing with the DMK chief, Naidu said he had come to re­quest Stalin to join him to "save this na­tion since democ­racy and the na­tion are in dan­ger and all of us have to work to­gether against the BJP".

Stalin said he pledged DMK'S full sup­port to Naidu's ef­fort to rally all par­ties to dis­lodge the BJP gov­ern­ment at the Cen­tre, which has been "initim­i­dat­ing" even au­tonomous in­sti­tu­tions like the RBI.

Stalin said he as­sured Naidu that he would par­tic­i­pate in a pro­posed con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing of lead­ers at Delhi or any other suit­able place to take for­ward the ini­tia­tive. "Things like

the Com­mon Min­i­mum Pro­gramme will be de­vised for sure," the DMK top leader said to a ques­tion.

Stalin said he has all along been bat­ting for the unity of state lead­ers and Op­po­si­tion par­ties to halt the 'snatch­ing away' of the rights of states by the Cen­tre. Down­play­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of dif­fer­ences among par­ties re­peat­edly, Naidu said "na­tional in­ter­est is of ut­most im­por­tance when com­pared to in­di­vid­ual or po­lit­i­cal in­ter­est."

"We have to join to­gether... I am in touch with Ma­mata Ban­jer­jee. I am go­ing to meet her again. We have to work togther to save this na­tion."

De­spite past dif­fer­ences with the Congress, he had joined forces with that party, con­sid­er­ing the na­tional in­ter­est, Naidu said. Only if there is democ­racy could there be par­ties, he said, adding that was the sit­u­a­tion to­day. "We will pro­vide Kr­ishna wa­ter to Chen­nai and in fu­ture will work to bring Go­davari wa­ter to Chen­nai," a smil­ing Naidu said. Ask­ing jour­nal­ists if peo­ple had got any ben­e­fit from the NDA gov­ern­ment, the TDP top leader It was a pity that peo­ple were not even able to with­draw money from ATMS post de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

To a ques­tion on his view on the AIADMK gov­ern­ment in Tamil Nadu, he shot back ask­ing "where is the gov­ern­ment?"

Re­call­ing his as­so­ci­a­tion with DMK since the Na­tional Front gov­ern­ment days of the late 1980s, he said his idea was to fa­cil­i­tate an anti BJP plat­form. Naidu charged the cen­tre with in­terefer­ing in the af­fairs of a reg­u­la­tory body like RBI, which was never done in the past. He al­leged that the econ­omy was in the dol­drums and pointed to as­pects like Non-per­form­ing as­sets and hit out at the gov­ern­ment over de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

Lev­el­ling a slew of ac­cu­sa­tions against the BJP, he said there was in­tol­er­ance, farm­ers dis­tress and un­em­ploy­ment.

Naidu al­leged that the En­force­ment Direc­torate and In­come Tax de­part­ments were be­ing used only to ma­lign and ha­rass all op­po­si­tion lead­ers.

Stalin lauded Naidu for his good ef­fort to de­feat the "an­tipeo­ple," BJP at the hus­tings.

"Be it court, CBI or RBI, all au­tonomous in­sti­tu­tions are be­ing initim­i­dated by the Cen­tre... to stop it the BJP gov­ern­ment should be dis­lodged," Stalin said. Naidu's meet­ing with Stalin came a day af­ter he called on his Kar­nataka coun­ter­part H D Ku­maraswamy and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda. Ear­lier, Naidu was ac­corded a warm wel­come by Stalin at his Alawar­pet res­i­dence.

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