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K Chandrashekhar Rao takes a break from mission to build federal front, calls on PM Modi

It was Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao first interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the state elections.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2018 00:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
K Chandrashekhar Rao,KCR meets Narendra Modi,Telangana elections
TRS chief and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on December 26.(Twitter/ANI Photo)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao who embarked on a tour to build a federal front against the BJP and the Congress for the 2019 general elections, took a quick break from his mission and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

Rao’s meeting with PM Modi has been described as a “courtesy call” by a central government official, given that K Chandrashekhar Rao, or KCR as he is popularly known, has just led the Telangana Rashtra Samiti to a landslide victory in state elections and retained power. It is their first interaction after the elections.

KCR’s spokesperson made a similar point. At his meeting, the spokesperson said Rao also submitted representations to the Prime Minister on various pending issues concerning Telangana including release of funds for 10 backward districts and an IIIT in Karimnagar district.

It was after the state elections that KCR anointed his son and Siricilla legislator KT Rama Rao as the working president of the party earlier this month. The Chief Minister had already declared that he would play a much more active role in national politics and set out to build the front with regional parties that aren’t very comfortable being part of a front led by the Congress.

Read More | KCR’s national plans are too ambitious

Biju Janata Dal’s Naveen Patnaik, who rarely targets Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches, was his first stop. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was next. After this meeting, KCR, standing next to Mamata Banerjee, announced that “a political dialogue” had started. “Dialogues are on. We are trying to settle issues of mutual interest as well as national policies,” he said

KCR was expected to meet Bahujan Samaj Party boss Mayawati and Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav during the Delhi visit. But there is no clarity if these meetings would happen at this stage.

Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav have announced their decision to tie up for the 2019 elections in Uttar Pradesh in the hope of halting the BJP’s juggernaut in Uttar Pradesh, the state that sends the largest contingent of lawmakers, 80, to the Lok Sabha. In 2014, the BJP had won 71 of them and kept up this stunning performance in the state elections when it captured 325 of the 403 assembly seats.

But KCR’s meetings with Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav haven’t worked out yet. Akhilesh Yadav lauded KCR’s efforts to build the front. Akhilesh Yadav, however, told reporters in Lucknow that he would meet KCR after January 6 in Hyderabad. There is no confirmation about KCR’s meeting with Mayawati either.

KCR’s party and the BJP have been on opposite sides of the political divide in Telangana but their rival, Congress, never misses an occasion to underscore that when push comes to shove, KCR’s party always rushes to the rescue of PM Modi’s party at the Centre.

When word about KCR’s plans to use the Delhi visit to call on the Prime Minister and not just Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s Mayawati and Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, the Congress rushed to stress that this was a demonstration of the TRS leader’s soft corner for the BJP and divide the opposition vote.

“If you (Rao) are going around and trying to create a third alternative then you are dividing the opposition vote and paving the way for ‘Modi Sarkar’ to continue,” Congress leader Rajeev Gowda said.

First Published: Dec 26, 2018 22:36 IST