Naidu Meets HD Kumaraswamy in his Efforts to Unite Opposition against the Modi government

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New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has taken up the responsibility of uniting opposition against the Modi government. So Mission Team Opposition took Andhra Pradesh chief minister to Bengaluru, where he met his Karnataka counterpart HD Kumaraswamy and his father and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal (Secular).

The hour-long meeting, scheduled earlier, came two days after results of by-elections to five seats in the state were announced. The Congress-JD(S) coalition won four seats, defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party even in its stronghold of Ballari. The partners are holding up the victory as a glimpse of the impact that an opposition alliance can have next year, with the Congress describing it as a “teaser for 2019.”

Naidu - currently meeting opposition leaders of all hue in an attempt to build a national alliance to take on the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election - said after today’s meeting that the bypoll results in Karnataka had boosted his endeavour to unite the opposition. “What happened in Karnataka? [The coalition] swept the elections and that shows the mood of the nation. We will all discuss together how to take this forward,” he said.

All three leaders addressed reporters together after their meeting at Deve GOwda’s residence. “This meeting was conducted to strengthen the hands of all secular forces for the nation. After Chandrababu Naidu’s return to national politics, I feel 1996 will be repeated again in 2019,” Kumaraswamy said, referring to a third front government formed that year with Deve Gowda at its head.

He said that the meeting was part of a series of initiatives being taken by regional leaders and that they had also been invited to attend a public event planned by west Bengal chief minister Mamata Bannerjee in January.

Deve Gowda said it was the responsibility of secular parties to band together to defeat the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “destabilising”constitutional institutions. “In this regard, Chandrababu Naidu has taken the lead and has met Rahul Gandhi, regional leaders like Sharad Pawar (Nationalist Congress Party), Farooq Abdullah (National Conference), Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party), Mamata Bannerjee (Triamool Congress) and MK Stalin (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam),” the xx-year-old former PM said.

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