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Published On: Mon, May 13th, 2019

KCR Meet DMK Chief Stalin, Push For Dy Prime Minister?

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Stalin-KCRCHENNAI : The meeting between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR ) and DMK Chief MK Stalin that lasted for an hour remained inconclusive due to latter’s “alliance with Congress”, sources said on Monday.
According to sources DMK made it clear it wouldn’t be able to join the federal front. They apparently said that their alliance with the Congress is “very strong”. Sources added that in fact DMK asked KCR to “consider joining the Congress front to fight the BJP”.

The TRS supremo had stepped up efforts to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front of regional parties and recently met his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram. He had also met Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy.
The initial response of the DMK to KCR’s proposal was lukewarm. Stalin is also busy with the campaign for the upcoming May 19 by-elections for four Tamil Nadu Assembly constituencies.
“It was Stalin who had proposed Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s name for the Prime Minister’s post and continues to stick to that. On the other hand, KCR is trying to promote a non-BJP, non-Congress front,” a DMK leader told news agency.
According to the DMK leader, the stability of the government at the Center may be an issue in the case of a third front as the previous experiences were not good. Stalin said KCR was in talks with other political parties and he would himself talk about various issues with other like-minded parties in Tamil Nadu and at different levels within the DMK.
KCR , who has been meeting with various political leaders ahead of the national election results, could be angling for a big role in the next government, but not necessarily the top post. Sources say the Telangana Cm has dropped “enough hints” that he is keen on Deputy Prime Ministership.
“KCR said regional parties must come together and demand a greater slice of the pie. Not just cabinet berths, but something at a higher level… They should have a say in policy decisions and even the appointment of Governors,” a source said.
Who will have the pole position in government formation in case of a hung parliament, can be decided only after the results are declared. But KCR’s meeting with Stalin, the DMK chief who claims to be committed to the alliance with the Congress, is to explore options in case of a split verdict, sources indicated.
KCR, as is dubbed by his party workers, is seen as closer to the BJP, having supported them earlier for votes in parliament. But he has not negotiated with the Congress, directly or indirectly. At today’s meeting, when Stalin — who has twice suggested the name of Rahul Gandhi for the post of the Prime Minister — told him to support the Congress,KCR had not ruled it out, sources said.
KCR is expecting that a coalition with Congress at the lead is would also be more amenable, especially if he can bring a substantial number of seats as the head of a regional conglomerate.
Sources say if KCR can gain support just in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, he can bring to the table a larger chunk of seats than say, Mamata Banerjee, or even Mayawati, who too, harbor national ambitions.
Tamil Nadu has 39 Lok Sabha seats. Telangana, where KCR won a landslide victory last year, has 17 seats, neighboring Andhra Pradesh has 25 seats. Kerala has 20 seats and Karnataka 28. Together, they add up to 129 seats – way above the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh or 42 in Bengal.
But even Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee– a fierce advocate of regional parties having a bigger role at the Center — has shown interest in a regional front that can form a strong lobby and negotiate from a position of power with the national parties. She has also spoken of further meetings with KCR.(With Inputs from TN, AP, Telangana).

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