TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday met DMK chief M K Stalin as part of the efforts to form a large alliance to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Following his meeting with former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday, Naidu met Stalin in Chennai late on Friday evening. He said he came to request Stalin to join (a larger alliance) “to defeat BJP to save this nation and the democracy, which is in danger”.
Targeting the government over “destruction” of key institutions, Naidu said: “CBI is completely defamed. See RBI today, even the RBI Governor prefers to quit. Interference by this government in such autonomous agencies, it never happened in the past.”
“The Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax are being used to malign and harass opposition leaders,” Naidu said, adding that the economy is in chaos.
Naidu also asked what was the benefit of demonetisation. “Honourable finance minister is now saying that demonetisation was not to curb black money. All black money has become white money after demonetisation,” he said.
Speaking of a “derailed banking sector and lack of confidence and escape of big time defaulters as NPA increases”, Naidu said “intolerance” towards other communities is increasing in India under the leadership of Modi.
He said people are prepared to defeat the BJP government now. Asked who would lead the Opposition alliance against the BJP, Naidu asked a reporter, “Have you got any benefit from the NDA government? You stood for so many days to get your money.”
When the question was repeated, Naidu said, in a lighter vein, “There are so many leaders. Even Stalinji is better than Narendra Modi.”
“I met everyone, I am going to meet Mamata Banerjee. We had differences but I met Rahul also. All of us want to work together,” Naidu said, adding that he does not aspire to become the centre of the alliance. “I am strong in Andhra. Mamata is very strong in West Bengal. Stalin’s party is strong in Tamil Nadu. All of us regional leaders are coming together. Congress has a pan-India base. There may be differences or different opinions. But it is more important to join together. I am just being a facilitator,” he said.
Addressing the media with Naidu, Stalin said the meeting was to defeat “an anti-people, anti-national, anti-secular government of Modi at the Centre. He (Naidu) has come as part of the steps he had been taking for that cause for few months.”