Op­po­si­tion par­ties to meet on anti-BJP front on Nov 22

Gulf Times - - INDIA -

The first meet­ing of Con­gress and other op­po­si­tion par­ties will be held in New Delhi on No­vem­ber 22 to dis­cuss for­ma­tion of an an­tiBharatiya Janata Party front, sources said yes­ter­day.

This was de­cided dur­ing a meet­ing be­tween Tel­ugu De­sam Party (TDP) pres­i­dent and Andhra Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter N Chan­drababu Naidu and se­nior Con­gress leader Ashok Gehlot.

The meet­ing to be at­tended by Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi, Naidu and lead­ers of other par­ties is also ex­pected to dis­cuss a com­mon pro­gramme for the pro­posed front.

Naidu said he would meet Tri­namool Con­gress leader and West Ben­gal Chief Min­is­ter Ma­mata Ban­er­jee on No­vem­ber 19-20 in Kolkatta to in­vite her to join the pro­posed non-BJP front.

The TDP chief told re­porters that he was al­ready in touch with Ban­er­jee, but would per­son­ally meet her to in­vite her to join the ef­forts for op­po­si­tion unity.

He would also in­vite her to the No­vem­ber 22 meet­ing.

For­mer prime min­is­ter and Janata Dal (Sec­u­lar) pres­i­dent H D Deve Gowda, Aam Admi Party leader and Delhi Chief Min­is­ter Arvind Kejriwal, Na­tional Con­fer­ence leader Fa­rooq Ab­dul­lah, Dravida Mun­netra Kazhagam chief M K Stalin and other lead­ers will also be in­vited to the No­vem­ber 22 meet­ing.

Gehlot flew to Amaravati for a fol­low-up meet­ing with Naidu.

The TDP chief had met Gandhi in Delhi on No­vem­ber 1 and they agreed to work to­gether to bring to­gether non-BJP par­ties.

In­ten­si­fy­ing his ef­forts to cob­ble to­gether an anti-BJP front, Naidu met Gowda and DMK lead­ers over the last two days.

Ad­dress­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Gehlot, Naidu tar­geted Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah say­ing they had ru­ined the sec­u­lar, so­cial and eco­nomic fabric of In­dia.

“Both Naren­dra Modi and Amit Shah ru­ined the coun­try with their ego and adamant at­ti­tude,” said Naidu, whose TDP walked out of BJP-led Na­tional Demo­cratic Al­liance in March this year.

Gehlot said the op­po­si­tion par­ties were com­ing to­gether to form a front to save democ­racy.

He said there was an un­de­clared emer­gency in the coun­try and all demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions were be­ing de­stroyed.

Mean­while, the Con­gress yes­ter­day promised to build cow shel­ters in ev­ery vil­lage, es­tab­lish a new depart­ment for spir­i­tu­al­ity, open new San­skrit schools be­sides loan waiver for farm­ers in elec­tion-bound Mad­hya Pradesh.

The prom­ises were con­tained in an 86-page man­i­festo ti­tled “Vachan Pa­tra” re­leased by se­nior Con­gress lead­ers in­clud­ing Mad­hya Pradesh Con­gress pres­i­dent Ka­mal Nath,

cam­paign com­mit­tee chief Jy­oti­ra­ditya Scin­dia, for­mer chief min­is­ter Digvi­jay Singh, and which fo­cuses largely on farm­ers, youth, women, trib­als and in­dus­tries.

Peo­ple of Mad­hya Pradesh will vote on No­vem­ber 28 to elect a 230-mem­ber new state assem­bly. The count­ing of votes will take place on De­cem­ber 11.

For farm­ers, the party has promised to waive loans up to Rs200,000 taken from na­tion­alised and co-op­er­a­tive banks and re­duce their elec­tric­ity bill by 50%, re­duce diesel, petrol and cook­ing gas prices, gausha­las (cow shel­ters), Rs51,000 for the mar­riage of daugh­ters of farm­ers among oth­ers if it comes to power.

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