Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is likely to join the Congress and other opposition parties in a meet called by his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu. This meet will mark Kejriwal’s first-ever get-together of opposition parties. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo has called for the meeting to decide on a common strategy to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
According to a report published in Hindustan Times, Kejriwal is expected to attend this meeting along with senior leader Sanjay Singh.
The main agenda behind the meeting will be to bring the opposition parties together to set aside their difference and fight as a team to defeat the BJP in the upcoming elections. Naidu, however, believes that it will not be easy to bring everybody on the same page, but it isn’t impossible.
Kejriwal and the opposition parties have joined hands earlier for protests such as Bharat Bandh, which was called by Congress on September 10 against fuel price hike. Delhi CM has also shared the stage with Congress president Rahul Gandhi during a protest by farmers’ organisation at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on November 30. The protest was held to demand better prices for agricultural products.
As quoted in NDTV, Chandrababu said, “We are all together in bringing parties on one platform. One or two may have differences of opinion. We (TDP) had differences with Congress for 40 years but now we are working how to bring together all. Democracy is important. It is for people to sink their differences. People are prepared now.”
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati or any of her party colleagues have not yet given any confirmation about joining the meeting.
Mr Naidu has already met a string of opposition leaders including Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal over the last few weeks.
Besides Mamata Banerjee, Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, DMK's Stalin, Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Tejashwi Yadav, HD Kumaraswamy and others are likely to be there for the meeting, which will be held on the eve of the winter session of parliament.
BJP, on the other hand, has said that the TDP chief is making futile attempts to bring the opposition together. BJP national president Amit Shah named the proposed grand alliance, as a ‘band of thieves’. "This Mahagathbandhan is a unity of those who loot wealth of the public through corrupt means," he said.