KCR calls for more powers to states, gets support for his Third Front plan
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KCR calls for more powers to states, gets support for his Third Front plan

Unfazed by an elusive Third Front , Telangana chief minister K C Rao pitched for an alternative for the Congress and the BJP while advocating a Constitutional change to empower states more.

india Updated: Mar 04, 2018 23:44 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
KCR,Telangana Rashtria Samithi,Third Front
Telangana chief minister K C Rao has pitched for empowering states more through a Constitutional amendment and has called for a Third Front as an alternative to the BJP and the Congress.(HT PHOTO)

A day after the BJP’s spectacular show in the assembly elections in the northeast, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday signaled his resolve to play a major role in the national politics and called for radical changes in the Constitution to give more powers to the states.

He demanded that the powers of the Centre should be restricted to a few issues like foreign relations, defence, railways, national highways, aviation and so on and all the other powers be delegated to the states. “If the Constitution does not permit it, let us change the Constitution. What prevents us from doing it?” he asked.

KCR, who also called for the formation of a third political alternative to the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party at the national level and seemed unfazed by the fact that the third front has had several false starts so far.

The TRS chief said he was prepared to lead the third alternative to the Congress and the BJP, which had ruled the country for over six decades but had done nothing much for the people, particularly farmers. “I can travel 10 lakh kilometres across the length and breadth of the country to mobilise the people’s support. And I am confident of achieving success. Every long journey begins with just one step,” he said.

His call evoked overwhelming response from different parties across the country, the chief minister’s office (CMO) claimed. According to a CMO official, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee called up the TRS president and conveyed her support to his proposal to form the third front.

“Ham aap se sahmat hai. Aap ke saath rahenge” (I am in agreement with you. I will work with you), the CMO quoted Banerjee as saying in response to KCR’s call for a qualitative change in national politics.

Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren also expressed his solidarity with KCR and welcomed his decision to play key role in national politics. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, Jana Sena party chief Pawan Kalyan, a couple of MPs from Maharashtra were among a large number of political personalities who welcomed KCR’s third front proposal, the CMO said.

Addressing a large gathering of people at his camp office Pragati Bhavan who raised slogans “Desh ki neta KCR,” the chief minister said it was surprising that the Centre still had a control over many issues that could be handled by the states. Quoting the example of Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana, he wondered in what way the Centre was concerned with laying roads in rural areas.

“Why? Can’t the states lay roads in rural areas? What are gram panchayats doing? Why should they depend on the Centre for funds to lay roads?” KCR asked.

He also found fault with the concentration of powers in the Centre with regard to subjects like agriculture, health, irrigation and drinking water which should be dealt by the states. “The states are forced to depend on the Centre for funds for even small requirements,” he said.

KCR also demanded that the powers to provide reservations to weaker sections should be vested with the states.

“Every state has its own caste composition and the respective governments will have to do social justice depending on the percentage of weaker sections. How can the Centre fix the percentage of reservations?” he asked.

First Published: Mar 04, 2018 21:34 IST