Naidu, Mamata team up to fight CBI and BJP
20 November 2018
Days after Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu withdraw 'General Consent' to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to enter the state, in a move to ward off any possible investigations against him, on Monday said he would prefer seasoned Congress and opposition front politicians to Modi and BJP.
Naidu, who broke off an alliance with the BJP, on Monday met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee at West Bengal secretariat Nabanna in Howrah near Kolkata in a grand stand against the Modi ,as the Trinamool Congress chief also withdrew 'general consent' to CBI to enter West Bengal.
The two leaders also announced plans to defer a meeting of opposition parties planned later this week to early December. Naidu also said, the proposed front doesn’t intend to project a presumptive prime minister and will let this question be settled by the numbers that the parties get in the 2019 elections.
The so-called grand alliance is a ganging up of divergent groups with no common agenda except usurping power from Narendra Modi-led BJP. However, the question of leadership continues to haunt the opposition parties that are planning to band together. The front’s leadership face has, in fact, come up at a briefing that Naidu and Mamata Banerjee addressed after their meeting.
“Everyone will be face of this grand alliance,” the Andhra chief minister, who heads the Telugu Desam Party, shot back. “Compared to Narendra Modi, we are all seniors... (and) better performers,” he said.
Mamata Banerjee said the meeting of opposition parties had been put off because of the ongoing assembly elections. She said the meeting will now be held days before the winter session of Parliament resumes and campaigning for December 7 elections in Rajasthan and Telangana.
Naidu said 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 TDP chief said.
He also attacked the NDA government at the Centre alleging that institutions like the CBI, ED, Income Tax department, RBI and CAG are under “severe pressure” from the government.
The move by Naidu and Mamata to withdraw 'General Consent' to the CBI to enter their respective states comes at a time when the central investigating agency is entangled in litigations of its own creation and its credibility on the wane.
The agency's chief and number two are embroiled in a bitter feud and are currently being probed for corruption. The move could give credence to opposition's claim that CBI is a 'caged parrot' being used to settle scores with former allies and opposition leaders.
However, there is another, less visible aspect to Naidu’s and Mamata’s moves, which could be the anxiety around the agency's intentions in probing state administration and senior functionaries.