Chandrababu Naidu dubs meeting with Deve Gowda as 'an initial exercise to unite opposition parties'

Deepika S

Bengaluru, Nov 8: In the run-up to the next year's Lok Sabha elections, Telugu Desam Party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is trying to unite opposition parties to take on BJP, met former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy 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 the victory in the bypolls.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Deve Gowda said "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 BJP govt."

"Chandrababu Naidu has taken the lead and met several leaders to consolidate all secular parties to remove NDA govt in 2019. He met me & HD Kumaraswamy today to work out further strategy," he added.

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 meeting with former Prime Minister Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy was an initial exercise to unite the opposition parties," Naidu told reporters after an hour-long meet at Gowda's residence in the city's southwestern suburb.

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BJP had managed to hold on to the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat.

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.

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JD(S) lawmaker haravana 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.

"The bypoll results that have come are 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 also recently met NCP chief Sharad Pawarand National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, among others.

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