Naidu meets Deve Gowda, seeks to forge oppn alliance to take on BJP

Bengaluru: Telugu Desam Party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is trying to unite opposition parties to take on BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year, met former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Naidu met Gowda at his residence at Padmanabha Nagar on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy, Naidu said the initial steps for the formation of the alliance were yet to be finalised. Once the modalities were fixed, programmes would be chalked out later, he said.

"I have spoken to Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav. I have met everybody. Tomorrow I am meeting Stalin (DMK president). We will decide how to take forward the alliance with consensus. It is an initial exercise. After that we will work together," he said. 

Former PM Deve Gowda said, "NDA rule under the leadership of PM Modi has created so many problems including destabilising constitutionally created institutes. Now, it is the responsibility of all secular parties including Congress to come together to replace NDA govt." 

Naidu's meeting with the JD(S) supremo comes in the backdrop of Congress-JD(S) coalition resolving to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together against the BJP, buoyed by the victory in the bypolls.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka on Tuesday won two of the three Lok Sabha seats and both assembly constituencies in the fiercely fought by-polls, giving a shot in the arm to the ruling combine that faces frequent questions about its longevity.

The electoral sweep by the ruling coalition comes as a boost to it as the by-polls were seen as a barometer of the public mood ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Naidu had called his Karnataka counterpart over the phone on Tuesday and congratulated the latter on the JD(S)-Congress combine's "spectacular victory" in the by-elections.

JD(S) lawmaker Sharavana said Naidu's meeting with HD Deve Gowda's in continuation of the discussions the Andhra Chief Minister was holding with "secular" party leaders across the country.

Naidu had also recently met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, among others.

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