Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah come together 'to protect nation', say 'democracy is in danger'

In a joint press conference on Thursday, Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, as well as Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and National Congress (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah said they were looking to work out ways to come together and put up a collective front "to protect the future of the nation".

Abdullah said the three of them will now "work out a common minimum programme", and that Naidu will be speaking to various state leaders to unite the parties that can take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

This is Naidu's second visit to New Delhi in less than a week, as part of efforts to to bring anti-BJP parties together. Naidu, along with TDP parliamentarians Jayadev Galla, CM Ramesh and others, met Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who said they were coming together "to defend democracy and the future of the country".

 Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah come together to protect nation, say democracy is in danger

Naidu, Abdullah and Pawar held a brief press conference in Delhi. ANI

At the joint press conference, Naidu said that as senior leaders of the country, they felt sorry for the current state of India as it is "facing so many problems, and the situation is deteriorating day by day". Therefore, Naidu said, the three of them had met to "chalk out a programme for the future".

"This great nation has given us so much. We have to protect its future. The nation is all we're interested in. They have instructed me to talk to all anti-BJP parties to chalk out a programme. That is why I am here," Naidu told reporters.

Abdullah said: "The condition of democracy and institutions such as the CBI and RBI is very bad. The nation is going through a great crisis. Today, democracy is in danger, and the nation's people are in danger."

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister, however, emphasised that he does not wish for "power" or "seats", only for the welfare of the nation.

Naidu "coincidentally" also met senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and briefly discussed the need to bring all non-BJP political parties together, TDP sources said.

The TDP chief had also called on Aam Admi Party leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Loktantrik Janata Dal chief Sharad Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Saturday. Naidu said he was reaching out to these leaders to try to bring all like-minded Opposition parties together to form an alliance as an alternative to the BJP.

Last week, Naidu had said "political compulsions" will force non-BJP parties to come together to form a third front against the saffron party.

Naidu, a former BJP ally who quit the National Democratic Alliance earlier this year over the Centre's refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, met Mayawati, Abdullah and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in Delhi on 27 October.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 01, 2018 17:08:56 IST