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‘2019 Will See Repeat of 1996’: Chandrababu Naidu Meets Deve Gowda, Kumaraswamy to Stitch Anti-BJP Alliance

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.

News18.com

Updated:November 9, 2018, 9:36 AM IST
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Bengaluru: TDP supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is trying to stitch an opposition alliance to take on the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections next year, met former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on Thursday.

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 their 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 bypolls, giving a shot in the arm to the ruling combine that faces frequent questions about its longevity. The BJP had managed to hold on to the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat.

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

Naidu said Karnataka had set an example for others with the bypoll result as it showed that the BJP can’t stand up to the might of a united opposition.

He parried questions on who would lead if such an alliance becomes a reality, saying he was only interested in saving the nation. “PM candidate we will be decided later, first we will save the nation,” he said.

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

Deve Gowda said the meeting was called to work out further strategy on forming the alliance. He attacked the Narendra Modi government for destabilising constitutional institutions like the CBI and RBI and urged “like-minded” to join hands for the elections.

“NDA rule under leadership of PM Modi has created so many problems including destabalising constitutionally created institutes. Now, it is the responsibility of all secular parties including Congress to come together to replace NDA govt,” he said.

Kumaraswamy expressed confidence that 2019 polls will see a repeat of the 1996 result, when a united opposition had formed the government and Gowda had become the PM.

“I think 1996 will be repeated in 2019 elections. HDD and Naidu are old friends and their arthimetics is good,” he said.

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

"The bypolls results that have come is a good development as people of state have understood the need for secular forces. He (Naidu) is expected to seek Deve Gowda's cooperation," he added.

Naidu had last week met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, putting aside the decades-old rivalry between the two parties in what he described was a “democratic compulsion” to defeat the BJP. He also recently met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, among others.

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