Kolkata: A proposed meeting of opposition parties scheduled on Thursday has been postponed until early December. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced the rescheduling of the meeting after meeting his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday.

Naidu, who has been interacting with opposition leaders across the nation to garner support against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had earlier announced the planned meeting of all the opposition parties. However, on Monday, Naidu said the meeting will have to be rescheduled because of ensuing elections. “We will meet before the next parliamentary session," Naidu added.

“All of us will be the face of the alliance," Banerjee told reporters when asked if there has been any decision on who will lead the alliance.

When pointed out that Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati has refused to be a part of the alliance, Naidu said, “We will speak to her." He said leaders who are opposing the BJP should work together.

Naidu confirmed that he will join a public meeting called by Banerjee in Kolkata on 19 January. Banerjee said most parties, barring a few, have confirmed their attendance for the meeting.

In his bid to garner opposition support against the BJP, Naidu had earlier met several opposition leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference’ Farooq Abdullah, former prime minister H. D. Deve Gowda, his son and chief minister of Karanataka H.D. Kumaraswamy and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M. K. Stalin.

Though his party was earlier a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Naidu has stated that the incumbent government is threatening autonomous institutions such as the Central Bureau of Investigation or the Reserve Bank of India. He has also mentioned of the growing “intolerance" towards minorities in the country. “The anti-BJP parties will have to join forces to protect the nation, as democracy is in danger," Naidu added.

BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha scoffed at the meeting. Sinha said neither of the leaders have any relevance in each other’s states. Hence the meeting is of no relevance. “Leaders accused of corruption are now getting together and barring the CBI from entering their states," Sinha said referring to Naidu and Banerjee withdrawing the blanket permission to CBI to let the investigating authority to operate in the respective states.

“To withdraw the permission from the CBI is the state’s discretion," Naidu said on Monday.

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