Naidu, Mamata assert oppn is united against BJP

Naidu, Mamata assert oppn is united against BJP

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu address the media after their closed-door meeting at Nabanna, in Kolkata. PTI photo

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee asserted on Monday that all parties opposing the BJP were united in their endeavour "to save the nation" and will chalk out a strategy to take on the saffron party ahead of the winter session of Parliament.

Naidu, who met Banerjee here days after their governments withdrew the 'general consent' to the CBI to conduct probe and raids in their states, told reporters that the November 22 conclave of opposition parties which was to be held in Delhi has been postponed due to ongoing assembly elections and a fresh date for the meeting will be announced soon.

The two leaders, were, however evasive on who will be the face of the proposed anti-BJP front, with Naidu quipping that "compared to Narendra Modi ji, we all are seniors", while Banerjee said, "all are the face of the coalition".

Flanked by the Trinamool Congress chief, Naidu attacked the NDA government at the Centre alleging that institutions like the CBI, ED, Income Tax department, RBI and CAG are under "severe pressure".

"We have the responsibility to save the nation, save democracy, save institutions. Democracy is in danger," he said.

"We wanted to meet on November 22 earlier (but) because of the elections... We wanted to make it before the Parliament (winter) session.

"Those who are opposing the BJP will join and discuss. We will chalk out a programme to move forward, take this momentum further on the agenda to protect the nation," the Telugu Desam Party chief said after emerging from an hour-long meeting with Banerjee.

The winter session of Parliament is from December 11 to January 8.

The fresh date for the non-BJP parties conclave will be announced very soon, Naidu told reporters

The TDP chief said that he would attend the public meeting called by Banerjee on January 19 in Kolkata, where opposition leaders have been invited, in the run-up to general elections.

"We are in touch with Mayawati ji. Those who are opposing the BJP, those who want to save the nation, we will work together. That's our mission," Naidu said while referring to the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief.

Asked as to who would be the face of the opposition coalition, Mamata Banerjee said, "Everybody, all are the face of the coalition".

"Compared to Narendra Modi ji, we all are seniors. Everybody has enough experience," Naidu said.

The TMC chief said, "This is not for the first time that we have discussed the country's interest... when with Arvind Kejriwal there was a problem, (we) had gone and discussed in detail about our future (course of) action.

"We are totally together, we are working together, we are speaking together. We all are together against the BJP government to save the nation," she said.