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