Chandrababu Naidu, Mamata Banerjee Assert Opposition Is United, Evade Questions on Face of Anti-BJP Coalition
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu (Photo Credits: PTI)

Kolkata, November 19: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee asserted on Monday that all parties opposing the BJP would chalk out a strategy to intensify the momentum "to protect the nation". 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.

Naidu justified the decision, saying, "It is our discretion and that is our state right and we have taken it." On Union minister Arun Jaitley's attack on him and Banerjee that those who had a lot to hide would fear the central agency, he said, "I want to answer all these at an appropriate time. As it is in the Supreme Court I do not want to answer it." 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". Pranab Mukherjee to be Face of United Opposition For 2019 Lok Sabha Elections?

Flanked by Banerjee, Naidu attacked the NDA government at the Centre, alleging institutions like the CBI, ED, Income Tax, RBI and CAG are under "severe pressure". " We have the responsibility to save the nation, save the democracy, protect 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 would be held from December 11 to January 8. The fresh date for the non-BJP parties conclave will be announced very soon, Naidu told reporters

He described demonetisation as "a big farce" and alleged there was "intolerance towards minorities".

"Demonetisation has become a big farce. Regular growth has been stagnant and price of petrol and diesel is also increasing," he alleged. Naidu alleged even the politicians were "under threat" and being victimised. "Because of all these things we have to protect this great nation," he said. Naidu, whose party TDP had quit the NDA over the issue of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, confirmed that he would attend a mega meeting organised by the TMC with opposition parties meeting on January 19. "We are in touch with Mayawati ji and also with everybody. Those who are opposing the BJP, those who want to save the nation we will work together. That's our mission," Naidu said referring to the Bahuhjan Samaj Party (BSP) chief.

The TMC chief said, "This is not for the first time that we have discussed the country's interests. Earlier also, we talked about many things. 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.