While speaking at the India Today Conclave South 2018, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu stated that he does not support DMK Chief M K Stalin’s stand of projecting Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the Mahagathbandhan.
He said, “I made it very clear, we should not announce a candidate today. My stand is, post-elections we will decide”, he added calling Stalin’s remark “his party’s stand” and not that of the opposition.
Naidu said that the BJP does not respect the democratic institutions. He accused PM Modi of misusing the government agencies like CBI and ED against his MPs, MLAs and other functionaries. When told by the journalist that according to Centre his MPs are allegedly involved in corruption, therefore, they are being raided, Naidu taunted, “Their MPs (BJP MPs) have not come from heaven. How many cases are there against Amit Shah”, he questioned.
Naidu said that all the like-minded people and the citizens of the country need to come together to form an anti-BJP front, as he calls it, to save the fundamental right to freedom for which so many people had sacrificed their lives. He urged people to fight against PM Narendra Modi, Amit Shah, and the BJP.
He talked about how there are ideological compulsions, political compulsions, and democratic compulsions. He gave the example of CPM fighting elections against Congress party in States and yet supporting it in the Centre due to ideological compulsion. He called his party’s decision of supporting BJP and opposing Congress as a political compulsion. Similarly, according to him, the coming together of the opposition parties is a “democratic compulsion”.
Naidu has become a vocal critic of BJP after he pulled his party out of the NDA earlier this year. For the Telangana assembly elections, TDP had allied with Congress. However, the alliance did not do either party much good as K Chandrasekhara Rao’s won Telangana with a decisive mandate. Many senior Congress and TDP leaders were reportedly critical of the alliance.
It is notable here that MK Stalin’s remarks were criticised by TMC too. Mamata Banerjee’s party had stated that Stalin’s announcement was wrong and the PM Candidate should be announced only after elections.
Earlier, other key political leaders like Sharad Pawar, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav too, either directly or through their party’s stand, have hinted they might not accept Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate.