KCR, Uddhav share anti-BJP bonhomie in Mumbai; Sharad Pawar gives ‘blessings’
- Telangana chief minister KCR has called for regional parties to unite for a third front against the BJP-led Centre. This came after he slammed both the saffron party and the Congress in his post Budget 2022 statements.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) met his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Sunday. KCR, who is on a one-day visit to the western state, said that “good result” of their meeting will soon be seen. “I invite Uddhav Ji to come to Telangana,” KCR added.
Later, KCR also met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar at his residence.
Attending a joint press conference, KCR said his meeting with Thackeray comprised “elaborate discussion" on improving and accelerating developmental issues and “bringing structural and policy changes in the country”, according to ANI.
Calling Thackeray his “brother”, KCR said he looks forward to working together with Maharashtra. “Our states share 1,000 kms of the border. With the cooperation of the Maharashtra government, we built the Kaleshwaram project which has benefited Telangana,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Thackeray also took a swipe at the saffron camp saying that their “Hindutva doesn't teach wrong politics”. The Shiv Sena supremo said that some people solely work for their “agendas, even if [the] country goes to hell".
Thackeray added that he and KCR will meet many political leaders starting today, and the focus in on bringing the country “on the right path”. “Who the PM will be can be discussed later,” he told at the joint press conference.
KCR further stated that under the BJP rule, central agencies are being misused in India in a “very bad manner” and both the chief ministers condemn it. He added that the central government needs to change their policy or else they will suffer. “The country has seen many such things,” the Telangana chief minister said.
Meanwhile, after meeting Pawar, KCR told reporters that the NCP chief is an “experienced leader” and has given his blessings to him.
Pawar, on the other hand, said that he discussed solutions to the problems that India is facing currently - “be it poverty or farmers' issues” with KCR. He pointed out that their meeting focussed less on political discussion and more on development, adding he will again hold meetings with KCR later.
The Telangana chief minister's visit to Maharashtra comes as part of his campaign to intensify anti-BJP opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
KCR has been at loggerheads with the saffron party, which started after his post Budget 2022 remarks wherein he slammed both the BJP and the Congress, saying India needs a new movement - breaking away from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the grand old party. He also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he dresses according to the poll-bound states.
Earlier this month when Modi visited Hyderabad, KCR's absence from the event and also at the airport to receive the former, added fuel to the controversy. However, KCR's office released a statement later, citing his fever and stressing that he is not binding to receive the PM.
Last week, Thackeray had a conversation with KCR in which he “extended support” to the Telangana CM in his efforts to unite regional parties to lead a third front against the BJP-led central government, and invited him to Mumbai. “This is in line with what Uddhav ji has been saying in the overreach of the Centre. States have to come together to defend the federal structure of the country,” a senior Shiv Sena functionary had said.
Notably, earlier in the day, when the Telangana CM landed in the financial capital, “welcome KCR” posters were seen around Mumbai.
KCR's tussle with the BJP, and efforts to join the regional parties, follows that of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo, who registered a landslide victory in the eastern state and shattered the saffron camp's dream to form a government in West Bengal, has been urging cooperation among opposition parties to dethrone the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha elections. She had also come to Mumbai last year to meet Pawar. KCR has already received support for the third front from Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK chief MK Stalin, and is expected to reach out to Mamata as well.