Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is trying to unite the opposition parties to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi .
The meeting comes amid seat-sharing talks between the two parties for the Assemby elections.
“I had a good meeting today with Shri Chandrababu Naidu. Amongst other things, we discussed the issue of opposition unity. I look forward to carrying forward our dialogue and to working together in the upcoming state and general elections,” Rahul Gandhi tweeted
Earlier in the day, Naidu met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah here.
Naidu “coincidentally” also met senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here and briefly discussed about the need to bring all non-BJP political parties together.
During the press meet both leaders asserted DMK leader M.K.Stalin also will be part of opposition unity and a meeting with DMK leader to happen soon.
Before that, he told reporters, “We are working together, we are going to work together. All Opposition forces are going to work together to defend India, our institutions and our democracy.
“We have had a past. Both of us have agreed we are not going to get into the past. We are going to talk about the present and future because it is critical for our country,” Gandhi told reporters.
Asked who is going to be the face for an Opposition alliance, Gandhi said both the leaders have agreed that the principle idea is to defeat the BJP and defend democracy and institutions of this country. “All other ideas, we will discuss later,” he said, adding, “Everyone is going to work together”.
He said the primary challenge before all the opposition forces are to work together and defend India’s institutions and democracy.”Everything else is secondary. We will do what is our primary challenge,” he said.
On the Rafale deal, the Congress chief said “it is very clear that corruption has taken place and there is no doubt in it.”
“Institutions that are investigating the Rafale deal are attacked and threatened. That is what exactly we are defending,” he said.
“If there is a proper enquiry, it will become very clear exactly what happened, where the money went and who did the corruption. Something that I am pushing aggressively because I believe the nation needs to know. This sentiment is shared by all Opposition parties,” he added.
Naidu asserted that there is a need today to save this nation and democracy. “That’s why I discussed with Rahulji also. In-principally we have agreed,” he said.
“Some of you have doubt about our past. It is a democratic compulsion now, we are joining together to protect this country.
“The main opposition leaders have a responsibility to discharge. That’s why we are joining together. Not only two parties, those opposing BJP we want to bring them to a common platform. We want to chalk out a common programme for future,” he said.
The TDP chief claimed he never had seen this type of attack on institutions like CBI, RBI, ED and IT in his political career of 40 years.
“I have asked Rahulji to discuss in the party and proposed all political meeting to chalk out a programme for future,” he said.
Asked about the face of an alliance, Naidu said, “you are interested in the candidate, we are interested in the nation. Remove that in your mind. You also think first about the nation.”