Hyderabad: Opposition parties had tentatively decided to meet on 22 November to further discuss the formation of an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) platform, said Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Naidu, who met All India Congress Committee general secretary Ashok Gehlot on Saturday, added that he would meet West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the coming days to convince her to join the broad coalition of opposition parties against the BJP. Naidu had on 5 November met a host of regional leaders and AICC president Rahul Gandhi to form an anti-BJP platform.

“Today there is intolerance in society. SCs, STs and minorities are in danger. The secular fabric of the country has been damaged and there is unrest. If anyone speaks up against them, they attack, be it media or opposition. There is an atmosphere of fear, which is why I took the initiative to meet everyone," Naidu said during a joint press conference with Gehlot at his official residence in Undavalli near Vijayawada on Saturday evening.

The TDP leader alleged that prime minister Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah were “bending rules to bring in people who listen" to them. Naidu also met Janata Dal (Secular) chief H. D. Deve Gowda and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo M. K. Stalin in the last two days to garner their support.

In spite of the differences between the Congress and TDP, given that the former was created on an anti-Congress platform in 1982, he was ready to work with the Congress in the interest of the nation, said Naidu. He added that the grand old party would be the main opposition party in the broad coalition that was being formed.

“I am not expecting anything out of this, as it is in interest of the nation. Save democracy, save institutions — it is a national agenda. I have convinced everyone in this experiment. I joined Congress because of democratic compulsions," Naidu said, and added that those regional parties that did not join would be seen as aligning with the BJP.

“There are only two platforms, BJP and anti-BJP. Those who are not joining us are automatically with the BJP. The Tamil Nadu and Telangana governments are remote controlled from Delhi. Everyone I meet is saying that the Centre is sending the CBI and other agencies after them. They may do it to me as well, but I am not bothered," Naidu alleged.

In the upcoming Telangana assembly elections scheduled to be held on 7 December, the TDP has joined the Congress-led grand alliance to take on the K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

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