In another significant development towards stitching up an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, leaders of as many as 17 parties met in Delhi on Monday, a day before the results of five state Assembly elections. The meeting was coordinated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister and JD(S) leader Deve Gowda, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, NC leader Farooq Abdullah, DMK President MK Stalin and others were present in the meeting. The meeting took place a day ahead of the winter session of Parliament, and saw the attendance of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi along with other opposition parties big guns. According to reports however, there was no representation from Bahujan Samar Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) in the meeting.
"This is a process and it is bringing together everybody. I said in the room that voices in this room are voices of the opposition in the country; our goal is to defeat BJP, protect India‚Äôs constitution and our institutions," Rahul Gandhi said, after the meeting, according to ANI.
Chandrababu is part of the Prajakutami, or People‚Äôs Front, in the Telangana elections, along with Congress. This came after he pulled out of the BJP-led NDA earlier this year, over denial of Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. Ever since, the Andhra Chief Minister has been working towards a national front against the BJP. Monday‚Äôs meeting is being seen as important especially since the results of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram are also being declared on Tuesday, along with Telangana.