West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal will campaign for Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party at a mega rally in the port town of Visakhapatnam on Sunday evening.
Though many other leaders from the proposed grand alliance of anti-BJP parties including Janata Dal (Secular) president Deve Gowda, DMK chief M K Stalin, Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdulla were invited to the rally they were unable to make it due to hectic campaigning in their respective states, a TDP leader familiar with the development said.
Farooq Abdullah did address a series of rallies in Andhra Pradesh’s Rayalaseema region while Kejriwal attended the TDP rally at Vijayawada last week.
“Deve Gowda will join the campaign for the TDP next week. More leaders are expected to participate in various rallies to express their solidarity with the TDP,” the party leader said.
The three-hour rally of the TDP will commence at Indira Priyadarshini Municipal Grounds at 5.30 pm. After the rally, all the three chief ministers will stay back in Visakhapatnam to discuss the national scenario and work out strategies in the coming days.
Like Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam is a cosmopolitan city with a large number of people from West Bengal, Odisha and northeastern states settling there for education, employment and business activities. “We are hoping that Mamata’s campaign would help garner their votes,” the TDP leader said.
Congress though is staying away from the Visakhapatnam rally because the party is fighting the elections independently in all 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also addressing a rally in Vijayawada in the afternoon, before proceeding to Bangalore.
Chandrababu Naidu had pulled his TDP out of the NDA in March 2018 alleging injustice being meted out to the state by the Narendra Modi government. Since then, he has been in the forefront of the proposed grand alliance (mahagathbandhan), trying to get together all opposition parties, including the Congress.
Mar 31, 2019 10:14 IST
Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal to attend Chandrababu Naidu’s mega opposition rally today – Hindustan Times