In a bid to shore up support for an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections, DMK President and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu MK Stalin assured his support to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu following a meeting between the two in Chennai on Friday.
Speaking to reporters in Chennai following the meeting, the Andhra CM denied that he would be the face of the this new front.
When the Andhra CM was asked about who, among the senior leaders would be the face of this front, he said, "We are all together. I am only bringing everybody together in one platform. They will decide how to take forward."
Meeting the DMK President MK Stalin at his residence in Chennai on Friday evening, the TDP Chief said that democracy and the nation was in danger from the current BJP-led NDA rule at the centre.
Slamming the central government for ‘abusing’ autonomous government bodies like the CBI and the RBI to fulfil its political agenda, Naidu conceded that his meeting with Congress President Rahul Gandhi earlier this month came despite the differences between the TDP and the Congress. The TDP is part of the Mahakutami or grand alliance led by the Congress for the Telangana Elections.
When TNM pressed the Andhra CM on how exactly these internal differences would be resolved, he said, "One or two of us may have some differences. Either it will be difference of opinion or differences. We had differences with the Congress for the last 40 years. We joined together. Now how to bring everybody together? Now nation is important. Democracy is important. Some differences we have to see. We have to sail together to protect this great nation."
MK Stalin said that he had welcomed the efforts put in by Chandrababu Naidu to bring together all the leaders of the opposition parties when the former met Congress President Rahul Gandhi recently in New Delhi.
“Already the rights of the states are being clamped down by the central government. All leaders of the opposition parties must join hands to defeat the BJP. In order for all leaders to work together, Chandrababu Naidu met me today and asked me for the DMK. I have assured my wholehearted support” Stalin stated.
Stalin also said that he would join the leaders in a meeting that is soon to be held.
The meeting comes a day after Chandrababu Naidu met JD(S) Supremo and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Thursday to hold talks about the formation of a Third Front for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Naidu had also called on Congress President Rahul Gandhi in his residence in New Delhi to bring together opposition parties as a single unit against the BJP-led NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “We have to save the nation and defend democracy. It is a democratic compulsion and we have joined together to protect our country,” Chandrababu Naidu told the reporters after the meeting.
Earlier in October, Chandrababu Naidu had met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BSP leader Mayawati and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah regarding the formation of the third front. The TDP leader also met Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as part of his efforts to bring together opposition parties against the Modi government in the 2019 elections.