Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is partnering the Congress for the coming assembly elections in Telangana, met Rahul Gandhi this afternoon to take forward the talks on a broader opposition alliance for the next year’s general elections. Calling it a “democratic compulsion”, Mr Naidu said they have agreed in principle to unite. Confirming that they were “coming together”, Mr Gandhi said, “The gist of the meeting was that we have to defend democracy and the institutions of the country”.
Mr Naidu, who split from the NDA in March, has taken over the role of a “facilitator” for a broader opposition unity and met Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah earlier today. Recently, the Telugu Desam Party chief was also invited to join the UPA by senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily. This is Mr Naidu’s second trip to Delhi in less than a week. He has already held a round of preliminary meetings with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Dalit powerhouse Mayawati, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu.