Discussions on forging an anti-BJP platform ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections were held as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu met opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Tuesday. The chief minister also met National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
This was the second round of meetings between the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and leaders of other opposition parties in the national capital, sources said.
Ram Vilas Paswan puts an end to Bihar political circles, says ‘will not contest Lok Sabha polls from Hajipur’
"The Delhi chief minister met Andhra Pradesh CM at Andhra Bhawan. They discussed several political issues, including a grand alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls," they said.
Naidu's latest visit to the national capital comes after Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party announced to join hands in Uttar Pradesh, leaving the Congress out.
"We discussed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's invitation to attend a rally in Kolkata on January 19. We decided to accept her invitation and participate in the rally,” said Pawar after meeting Naidu.
"When we reach Kolkata, there will be every possibility of meeting other party leaders. We have not met them, neither we have discussed with them... But both of us are going to suggest them after the rally, let us sit together and discuss future course of action. And if there is agreement, then start agreeing with the programme that we have finalized after the rally," he said.
Naidu said he expects all opposition leaders to attend the rally in Kolkata where " the future course of action" will be decided.
"Mamtaji has invited. We are all going. I am expecting all leaders will come. There, we will decide the future course of action. On January 19, we will meet and discuss and if necessary, we will have a meeting in Delhi," he said.
The TDP chief said the coming together of opposition parties was a "democratic compulsion".
“To save the nation, all of us have to join. It's a democratic compulsion. At the same time on secular front, we are one. There may be some political compulsions in some states. But at the national level, how to come together ... that’s what we are working on," Naidu said.
Asked if the Congress was invited to attend the Kolkata rally, he said, "It is not true that there is no invitation to attend the rally."
On the decision to provide 10 per cent quota to the economically weak poor, he questioned the haste shown by the BJP government.
"They should have bought the bill earlier and convinced everyone. Anyways, we are supporting the bill," he said.
(With PTI inputs)