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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Role of regional parties discussed, not PM pick: Vijayan after meeting KCR

Though the Kerala CM’s office said it was a courtesy call, sources close to his office said they discussed the possibilities of exploring ways to form a non-Congress and non-BJP government at the Centre.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: May 07, 2019 14:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan with his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrashekar Rao in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan with his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrashekar Rao in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday(HT Photo)

With 16 days left for the results of the Lok Sabha election to be declared, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, who is eager to don the kingmaker’s role at the Centre, called on his counterpart in Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday and discussed the ‘national political scenario’.

“Yesterday’s meeting with KC Rao was significant. We discussed the national political scenario. According to KC Rao, both the fronts may not get a majority. So, the regional parties will play a prominent role. There were no discussions about the PM candidate,” Kerala CM said, according to news agency ANI.

“The two had a fruitful discussion. They discussed the prevailing political situation and the post-poll scenario. As the Left parties, he is also keen to explore possibilities of a non-BJP and non-Congress government at the Centre,” said sources close to Vijayan’s office.

Read: Lok Sabha elections 2019: ‘BJP will breach 282 mark by large margin’, says Amit Shah

Political parties do approach the CPI(M) headquarters AKG Bhawan for such talks but this time Rao, who is popularly known as KCR, made it a point to meet Pinarayi Vijayan directly buttressing the latter’s growing clout in the party.

Since its prospects are not looking bright in erstwhile strongholds of West Bengal and Tripura, the CPI(M) has pinned much hope on Kerala, said party insiders.

Read: Mayawati throws hat in PM ring with not-so-cryptic remark

Before the meeting, Rao offered prayers at the Sree Padmanabhaswami temple at the state capital.

This is the first in the series of meetings Rao has planned in the next five days. He will also meet DMK chief MK Stalin and other leaders from southern India. Like KCR, many Left leaders in Kerala feel neither the Congress nor the BJP will have the numbers to form the next government at the Centre and that regional parties will play a key role.

There are 123 Lok Sabha seats in the five southern states and regional satraps like Rao are eyeing these numbers, said CPI(M) sources.

But after the Sabarimala temple imbroglio, the party is facing much heat in its last resort as well. The state had witnessed violent protests after it tried to implement the Supreme Court’s September 28, 2018, verdict, which allowed women of all ages to worship at the hilltop shrine.

Angry devotees believe that the state government’s new affidavit favouring women’s into the shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa entry led to the verdict and it took “undue haste” in implementing it. This time, there was a massive turnout of women in the April 23 election in the state.

First Published: May 07, 2019 08:51 IST

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