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Momentous, says Rahul Gandhi after meeting Chandrababu Naidu on Oppn unity

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today met Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu who is in Delhi to gather Team Opposition against the ruling BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2018 22:17 IST
HT Correspondent
Rahul Gandhi,Chandrababu Naidu,Lok Sabha elections
Both Rahul Gandhi and Chandrababu Naidu underlined that the primary objective was to defeat the BJP. (PTI)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi today met Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu who is in Delhi to gather Team Opposition against the ruling BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi described it as “momentous” and said it is critical for all opposition parties to unite to “defend the democracy and institutions and future of this country.” Naidu called it a “democratic compulsion.”

“We are coming together... both agreed are not going to get into the past and will talk about the present and the future... It is critical for the country that all opposition parties get together and provide a vision to the country,” said Gandhi on his coming together with a Naidu, boss of the Telugu Desam Party, the Congress’ traditional rival in Andhra Pradesh and a BJP ally till March this year.

Both underlined that the primary objective was to defeat the BJP. And they skirted the question on who would lead such an anti-BJP front, though Naidu pointed out that Congress is the main opposition party. Rahul Gandhi said the “principal challenge is to work together...everything else is secondary.”

Chandrababu Naidu said opposition parties would meet soon on a “common platform” to chalk out an action plan. He is on his second visit to Delhi in the last week. Ahead of meeting Gandhi, he met Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference Farooq Abdullah.

At the weekend Naidu met other opposition leaders like Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati and several others. He had also met former union minister Yashwant Sinha.

Naidu’s party and the Congress have already allied in Andhra Pradesh neighbour Telangana, where assembly elections will be held early next month. The Congress is expected to contest 90 out of the state’s 119 assembly seats, with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) likely to contest the remaining 29 seats as they take on the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti.

Andhra Pradesh votes for a new assembly in 2020.

First Published: Nov 01, 2018 18:07 IST