Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is trying to bring together Opposition parties in the country to take on the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Thursday said a consensus among Opposition parties for a united front, including the Congress, will emerge in the coming days.
“There will be consensus. There is no organisation as of today. I have taken some initiative and I am meeting everybody and after that we will decide on how to take this forward,’’ Naidu said after a meeting with former Prime Minister and JDS president H D Deve Gowda and his son and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said the recent bypolls in Karnataka — where a Congress-JDS alliance trumped BJP in four out of five seats — was a sign of the “mood of the nation’’.
“This is an initial exercise. Mamata (Banerjee) will be organising a meeting in January and Kumaraswamy is organising a big rally of farmers in January. We discussed how to work out things. We will work together and you will see in the coming days,’’ Naidu said.
He said Opposition parties would need the support of the Congress to put up a united front. “Congress is a major opposition party. So far, only one experiment has been done under leadership of Devegowdaji. At that time, third front has come to power and support was given by the Congress from the outside. Apart from that, all experiments have involved Congress or BJP. I have spoken to Mayawati, Akhilesh. I met everybody. I will meet Stalin tomorrow,’’ Naidu said.
“It is our responsibility to come together and protect this nation and save democracy, the Constitution and institutions.I have joined the movement to save democracy and the country,’’ he said.
Former prime minister Deve Gowda said the Congress party would have to co-operate for Naidu’s bid to unite the Opposition to succeed.
He (Naidu) came today to work out a strategy to consolidate all these forces. We have decided the further steps that have to be taken. We have to work hard and the Congress should also co-operate. Country is paramount and bigger than any individual. Congress has a great responsibility since it is a major party even though it has lost in 17 states. It will do well in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh. This will help take the coalition forward,’’ Gowda said.
“The present government has destabilised several constitutional institutions and now it is the responsibility of all secular parties to come together and replace the NDA government,” the JDS president said.
Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy said the meeting with Naidu was “to discuss measures to strengthen secular forces in the country’’. “They (Gowda and Naidu) have discussed several issues for 2019 parliament polls, they are old friends and they have a good arithmetic. With the entry of Naidu into Delhi politics we are expecting new things,’’ he said.