“You are interested in the candidates and we are interested in the nation,” quipped Naidu to the media when asked who the PM candidate of the alliance will be.

Save the nation save democracy Naidu joins hands with Rahul to take on BJP
news Politics Thursday, November 01, 2018 - 17:23
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is on a warpath to build a formidable alliance against his former ally, the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP). On Thursday, the AP CM met with Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other key opposition leaders in Delhi in what is said to be preliminary talks for forming an alliance in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 
 
Speaking to media after their meet, Naidu said, "Democratic institutions such as the CBI, Income Tax and the RBI are under threat, democracy is under threat...The idea here is to defeat the BJP and save institutions. Everybody(political parties) is going to work together on this. The Congress party is the main opposition party, we will sit together in a common platform and chalk out a programme."
 
This would the first time the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader is meeting with the Congress president formally, the last time the duo met was at the swearing-in ceremony of the Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy earlier this year. The TDP was born in 1982 out of the Centre’s increasing authoritarianism over states. The party waged a battle headed by its patriarch and matinee idol NT Rama Rao against the dismissal of his 20-month-old government in 1984 by then Governor Thakur Ram Lal, who they alleged was a puppet of the Congress. Read here.  
 
"We are going to defeat the BJP together," said Rahul Gandhi as he stood along with Naidu while addressing the media, "The BJP has attacked the constitution and democratic institutions and we will work together to preserve it. Our message to the youth is that we will all work together. At present, the biggest challenge before the youth is the lack of jobs, corruption, Rafael, Anil Ambani and the Rs 3,000 crore, and farmers, these will be the points on which we contest the elections," he added. 
 
When asked who will be the PM candidate for the alliance being formed, both the leaders dodged the question. 
 
“You are interested in the candidates and we are interested in the nation,” quipped Naidu to the media, “Save the nation, save democracy,” he added. Responding to the same question, Rahul said: “Your interest is sensationalism, but we have to work together to save democracy and our democratic institutions.”
 
In the run up the Telangana elections, the TDP has entered an alliance with the Congress in Telangana and are in the last stages of discussions on seat sharing.
 
Earlier in the day before his meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Naidu met with the National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar.
 
"Democracy is in danger. People are in danger," said Abdullah to media, as he announced that he along with Naidu and Pawar would convene a meeting of opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).  
 
Naidu said the country was facing a lot of problems and the situation was "deteriorating day by day". The TDP leader said they were not coming together out of any greed for power, but due to political compulsion. 
 
Pawar said that institutions were being attacked. If "we work collectively to save democracy, we can save the institutions", he said. "We will call a meeting of (opposition) leaders and discuss specific programmes," he said. 
 
During his visit to Delhi last week, Naidu met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, BSP leader Mayawati, Loktrantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha and CPI leaders D. Raja and S. Sudhakar Reddy apart from Abdullah. 
 
The meetings are seen as part of efforts to bring together the opposition against the BJP-led alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
 
(With IANS inputs)
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