Amaravati/ Bengaluru: In a quick follow up action to his recent Delhi visit to bring all anti-BJP forces together, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday called on JDS chief HD Deve Gowda and his son and Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and discussed the need for cutting the BJP down to size in the next elections.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu waves after being felicitated by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda ahead of a meeting, in Bengaluru on Thursday
"All anti-BJP parties will soon have a meeting at Delhi. Before that, I will meet DMK chief tomorrow and share my views with him," Chandrababu Naidu said after the meeting. The grand alliance is likely to take a shape by the end of November.
They reportedly discussed the verdict in favour of the Congress-JDS candidates in the byelections for one Assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in which the saffron party managed to win only one -Shimoga.
The three leaders who were closeted for about an hour decided to strike the iron while it is still hot and bring all the opposition parties big or small on one side of the battle in the interests of democracy and nation. After calling on the two leaders, Naidu said that it was imperative that there should be an immediate halt to attempts of the Centre to destroy all democratic institutions.
Naidu has already visited Delhi twice and conferred with Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and leaders of several parties, including mercurial Mayawati who is understood to have said to him that she was game when it came to fight alongside Congress against the BJP in Lok Sabha elections, her stand in respect of Assembly elections in the North, notwithstanding.
Speaking to media persons after his meeting with Karanataka leaders, Naid said: "Our main priority is to save the country and democracy. I am trying to bring all non-BJP parties together. We will soon have a meeting together at Delhi to ensure that the anti-BJP parties become a cohesive force. This is important because the present dispensation has been destroying institutions like the CBI and the RBI.”
Deve Gowda also offered his services to talk to other leaders if need be to ensure that the alliance formation was completed soon. The AP Chief Minister said that the central government has been using strong arm methods to bully the Opposition parties with the help of its agencies like Income-Tax Department. He said that the country’s economy was in a turbulent state now with the lopsided policies of the Centre.
The chief minister recalled his meeting with Sharad Pawar, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav who shared his concern for protection of democracy. Deve Gowda said the country has been facing problems for the last four years under the NDA rule. The Congress party too should play a greater role in forging unity among the Opposition parties.
Kumaraswamy said all the non-BJP parties are coming together to protect the federal system. He described the Deve Gowda and Chandrababu Naidu as leaders who knew their political arithmetic well. He said that Naidu will play a key role in Delhi politics which will make 1996 happen again when United Front government materialised at the Centre, with Deve Gowda as the country’s 11th prime minister. Naidu is scheduled to go to Chennai on Friday to meet DMK chief Stalin.