“Common Minimum Agenda” By Non-BJP Parties Against Centre: Sharad Pawar

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Sharad Pawar met CM Naidu and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah in New Delhi today.

New Delhi:

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar today said non-BJP parties will come out with a common minimum programme to take on the government, while expressing concern over "assault" on institutions like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

He said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N Chandrababu Naidu will take the initiative and talk to other non-BJP parties, including the Congress, on the matter.

Thereafter, a meeting will be convened in New Delhi to chalk out a plan, Mr Pawar said after meeting CM Naidu and National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah in New Delhi.

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"If we collectively work to save democracy, we can definitely save the institutions. Chandrababu (Naidu) will talk to other state political leaders in this regard," the NCP chief told reporters.

Alleging that the situation in the country seems to be "deteriorating" day by day as there is "assault" on institutions like the CBI and the RBI, he said there is a need to work for the common cause of "saving the country and democracy".

A common minimum programme will be drafted once the non-BJP parties come on board to discuss the matter, Mr Pawar said.

It was CM Naidu's suggestion that all non-BJP parties should meet, discuss the current situation in the country and take some steps, he added.

Voicing concern over the "difficult" times the country is going through, Mr Abdullah said, "Today, democracy is in danger and people are in danger. That is why we all met and decided to work out a common minimum programme to save democracy, institutions and the nation."

CM Naidu, a former BJP ally who quit the National Democratic Alliance early this year over the Centre's refusal to grant special status to Andhra Pradesh, said he will meet non-BJP political leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, and convince them about the need to fight collectively against the BJP.

Earlier, CM Naidu "coincidentally" also met senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and briefly discussed about the need to bring all non-BJP parties together, TDP sources said.

This is the Andhra Pradesh chief minister's second visit to New Delhi in less than a week.

Last week, CM Naidu had met Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in New Delhi.

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