NEW DELHI: Pushing for an opposition alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday met Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other opposition leaders on Tuesday to work out the modalities to expedite the formation of regional alliances.
Naidu also met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and PDP’s Farooq Abdullah, among others. He discussed plans to unite all opposition parties and iron out differences among regional parties.
The meeting holds significance, keeping in mind the announcement of an alliance by the BSP and SP and its decision to keep the Congress out of it.
According to sources, Naidu met Rahul at the latter’s residence and discussed alliance formation, following the decision of BSP-SP in UP. The rift between Congress and the two UP parties resulted after the Congress’ failure to knit an alliance in the Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.The opposition leaders are expected to share the stage at a rally called by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee on January 19 in Kolkata as a show of strength of opposition unity.
“We are expecting all opposition leaders will join the January 19 rally and we will meet and discuss the alliance at other meetings to be held in Delhi. There is a democratic compulsion to save the nation and all of us will have to join... How we come together at the national level remains to be worked out. I am discussing it,” Naidu said. NCP leader Sharad Pawar said, “When we reach Kolkata, there is a possibility that other parties’ leaders may sit together after the rally and discuss the future course of action. If there is a unanimity, we’ll start implementing it.”