Telugu Desam Party supremo and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu is confident of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s defeat. He said that Modi’s defeat became certain when he had differed with the TDP in 2018. The country would have a new prime minister after this election, he told the party leaders during the review with them here on Friday.
Chandrababu Naidu, who had returned from the national capital after three days, held a meeting with the party leaders and candidates for the Assembly and Parliament constituencies from the North Andhra region. He told them that the defeat of Narendra Modi is being consolidated now, with the TDP playing key role in keeping the opposition parties united. He also claimed that he had convinced Congress president Rahul Gandhi to be liberal and accommodative in accepting a consensus candidate for the prime minister post to keep Narendra Modi out of power.
According to Chandrababu Naidu, the Congress alone would get anywhere close to 150 and its allies in the UPA would add another 50. This would make Congress comfortable to stake claim but it still required some more seats. It is here that the opposition parties, including the TDP, are playing key role. The TDP chief had reportedly told his party leaders that Rahul Gandhi was positive to keep himself aside and back a consensus candidate from the opposition parties. In fact, Chandrababu Naidu is in favour of the candidature of West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamatha Benerji for the prime minister seat. He has the support of National Conference of Farooq Abdulla, Janata Dal (Secular) of Deve Gowda and Kumara Swamy, DMK of M K Stalin to back Mamatha Benerji’s candidature on the request of Chandrababu Naidu.
The TDP chief is now looking for support from Nationalist Congress of Sharad Pawar, Biju Janata Dal of Navin Patnaik and a couple of other smaller parties. As of now Chandrababu Naidu is working with over a dozen parties at the national level, besides the Congress. With the increasing support that he is able to mobilise at the national level, Chandrababu Naidu finds himself a key player in the 2019 elections. If Modi is defeated, to some extent, Chandrababu Naidu would play an upper hand in the forming of the next government. It is to be seen what is in store for Chandrababu Naidu in the 2019 elections.