Didi, KCR agree on non-Congress federal Opp bid
A week after the dinner hosted by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi featuring all “secular” outfits — including the Trinamool Congress — Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday put a stamp on her Telengana counterpart K Chandrashekhar Rao’s Third Front initiative devoid of a tri-colour and saffron tinge.
The two leaders met at Nabanna the State secretariat in Howrah from where KCR kicked off his mission to bring the regional parties together to form a non-BJP, non-Congress Third Front.
At the end of more than an hour-long meeting, KCR said, “We made a very good beginning today. We want to strengthen the federal structure. We will soon come up with a people’s agenda which will be different from what we have seen in the last 70 years.”
Pointing out the urgency of bringing a “real political change,” he insisted that the BJP and the Congress had ruined India and there was strong need for a “federal front,” that would take care of the people’s aspirations.
Soon after KCR had expressed the need for bringing a “qualitative change in national politics” and coming up with an alternative to the BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA, Mamata had spoken to him over phone.
“We are with you,” she had told him hinting at the emergence of Kolkata-Hyderabad axis which became all the more evident after a reported talk between Mamata and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who had just walked out of the NDA.
Batting for a Federal Front --- floated unsuccessfully by Mamata on earlier occasions, KCR said in 2019 there would be a front which will be a “for the people of India.” The Telengana Chief Minister, who along with his team of party leaders and advisers flew in a chartered aircraft from Hyderabad to Kolkata to discuss with her the present political situations, was likely to visit other State capitals -- including Bengaluru, Bhuvaneshwar, Ranchi, Patna, Mumbai and Lucknow in search of a nationwide consensus.
The Bengal Chief Minister, who greeted KCR with a bouquet of flowers eye-catchingly smaller than the one she received from him later, circumvented questions on any viable alternative devoid of the Congress. Though not completely comfortable with Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, Mamata tended to be cautious with her choice of words.
She said, “This is a good beginning. We have to explore further possibilities by talking to the other like-minded parties. Every political party has its own identity and respect.” Insisting and apparently sending across a message to the Congress, she added, “No one party should rule the country. We need to work together, maintain good relations with all parties. We are not in a hurry and are approaching others also.”
Mamata is likely to fly off to Delhi next week where she would meet Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and “some other like-minded parties” on or after March 25, said Trinamool sources, adding “there is a likelihood of the Chief Minister meeting Rahul Gandhi also.”
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