"My stand is...post-election we'll decide. I made it very clear, we should not announce a candidate today," Naidu said.

Andhra CM Naidu differs with Stalin over Rahul for PM says decision after polls
news Politics Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 09:01

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday differed with DMK leader M K Stalin's stand on projecting Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate of opposition for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying that the decision should be made after the polls.

"My stand is...post-election we'll decide. I made it very clear, we should not announce a candidate today," Naidu said at the ‘India Today Conclave South 2018’ in Visakhapatnam. Stalin had last week proposed Gandhi as the opposition's prime ministerial candidate at a rally in Chennai. The rally was attended by Naidu apart from several other opposition leaders.

Naidu has made efforts to bring opposition parties together against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. 

His Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had left the NDA earlier this year. The TDP had allied with the Congress and two other parties in the recent state election in Telangana but the alliance was defeated.

Stalin had earlier made his decision to back Rahul Gandhi public, at a rally in Chennai, in the presence of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu (Andhra Pradesh), Pinarayi Vijayan (Kerala) and V. Narayanasamy (Puducherry) and leaders of several other parties.

"Twenty-one political parties have come together against Modi and more parties will join," Stalin said. He said Rahul Gandhi had the capability to defeat the "fascist" Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We will strengthen Rahul Gandhi's hands."

This also comes at a time when efforts to bring opposition parties together are also being undertaken by Naidu himself, who has already met several leaders like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BSP leader Mayawati and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah besides Loktrantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, CPI leader D Raja, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and others.

 

IANS inputs

Read: Calculated move or hasty declaration? Why Stalin backed Rahul Gandhi for PM

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