BENGALURU: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday met his Karnataka counterpart HD Kumaraswamy and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda during which he called for the opposition unity to oust the Narendra Modi-led BJP from power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The meeting, which was held at Deve Gowda's residence in the city's south-western suburb, lasted for about an hour.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu meets former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/HCrWHB41BH
— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2018
Speaking to reporters after meeting the JDS leaders, Naidu said "The meeting with former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy was an initial exercise to unite the opposition parties.''
Calling for the revival of a united front against the BJP, Naidu claimed that the mood of the nation was against the BJP-led NDA and soon an alliance would be formed with various regional parties.
''The opposition parties will work together to "save" democracy in India,'' the TDP supremo said.
"Under the NDA government, all autonomous institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have been destroyed," Naidu said.
''The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's policies like demonetisation have thrown the country`s economy into a crisis,'' Naidu further said.
Naidu, however, said that the initial steps for the formation of the alliance were yet to be finalised.
Once the modalities were fixed, programmes would be chalked out later, he said.
"I have spoken to Mayawati (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav (SP). I have met everybody. Tomorrow, I am meeting Stalin (DMK president). We will decide how to take forward the alliance with consensus. It is an initial exercise. After that we will work together," the TDP chief said.
Naidu, who had been a staunch critic of Congress, was not averse to taking it along for the "grand alliance."
However, he ducked questions on their prime ministerial candidate.
"Congress is a major opposition party," he said, pointing out that Deve Gowda became prime minister with the support of the Congress from outside in 1996.''
'' ... Congress is the main anchor," Naidu added.
"It is the responsibility of the opposition parties to join hands and save the democracy," he stressed.
Speaking on his turn, Kumaraswamy said the meeting with Naidu was to bring together the "secular forces" in the country.
"Chandrababu Naidu is working hard, as a coordinator, to unite the secular parties ahead of the upcoming general elections. We (Naidu and JD-S leadership) share good political arithmetic and have been friends," the Karnataka Chief Minister said.
Naidu's meeting with the JDS leaders comes a week after he met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on November 1 as part of his effort to unite the Opposition.
(With Agency inputs)