TDP's Chandrababu Naidu initiates `Mahagatbahan' talks in Capital
10 December 2018
The so-called 'Mahagathbandhan', a joint front of diverse political parties ganging up against the Narendra Modi government and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, seemed gathering pace with several opposition party leaders attending a meeting in New Delhi today.
The meeting, called by Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party head N Chandrababu Naidu, brought together Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M K Stalin and Aam Aadmi Party head and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, among others, who could be a part of the grand alliance.
The meeting got delayed because of the assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, that concluded on 7 December after over three weeks of intense polling.
Naidu also met Jammu & Kashmir National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel as part of the grand alliance strategy ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
It was a good meeting and we had an interesting conversation on many topics, Naidu said after the talks.
Trinamool Congress head and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had met Naidu in Kolkata ahead of the all-party meet. However, the chances of Mamata Banerjee attending the meeting in Delhi are bleak.
Naidu, who was busy with campaigning for Maha Kutami, along with AICC chief Rahul Gandhi, in the just concluded elections in Telangana, has shifted his focus to non-BJP alliance plan.
Naidu is leaving no stone unturned to make it a success by ensuring that all those whom he had met in the recent past with anti-BJP platform as an agenda, make it to the meeting on Monday.
The TDP chief is learnt to have spoken to several leaders of various national and regional parties in the last few days to garner their support.
For now, “Save Democracy - Save Nation from the clutches of BJP” is the sole slogan for uniting all the anti-BJP forces. The future course of action will be chalked out after the meeting.
Asked whether Mamata, BSP chief Mayawati and others, whom Naidu met earlier, will attend the meeting, Kala exuded confidence that most of the leaders will turn up.
However, TDP leaders have expressed doubts over Mamata’s participation in the meeting.
Despite her anti-BJP stance, Banerjee has her own political ambitions and she is unlikely to remain a part of an alliance where several bigwigs will be vying for the top job.