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Published On: Mon, Mar 19th, 2018

Telangana’s CM meets Mamata Banerjee, says this is beginning of federal front

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1521466778-6389KOLKATA : Telangana chief minister  K Chandrasekhara Rao’s idea of creating a federal front with non-BJP and non-Congress political parties at the national level has received a hint of positive response with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee terming their meeting in Kolkata on Monday as a good beginning.

Rao discussed the formation of a federal front to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in the 2019 general election.Talking to reporters after the meeting at the state secretariat, Rao, the chief of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, said that the country needed an alternative agenda and an alternative political force.
“The country needs something good…What will happen if the BJP goes and the Congress come? Will it do any wonders? We are in talks with like-minded parties,” he said, emerging from his meeting with Banerjee who heads the Trinamool Congress.

“We have relations with many political parties and if we can do something together, it is good for the country” Banerjee said at a joint press conference after an hour-long meeting with KCR, who flew to Kolkata in a special flight to discuss the formation of federal front with her earlier in the day.

Rao said the idea behind federal front was to provide an alternate political model for the country and they would discuss with other leaders to forge a non-BJP and non-Congress alliance under a collective leadership in the days to come.

He is expected to make similar visits to other states to meet other leaders, including Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, according to his party men. Preparations are also on to formally declare the formation of a federal front at Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) plenary meeting on April 27. Rao will be personally inviting the potential federal front partners at this event.

 
“very good beginning” has been made on a federal front to take on the BJP and the Congress, said Telangana chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao after his meeting with his Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee today. The two leaders had spoken on the phone last week. Mr Rao, popularly known as “KCR”, landed in Kolkata this morning to continue the conversation.

After the meeting, Mr Rao told reporters that the two leaders had come to an “understanding” that would be revealed later. Ms Banerjee, standing next to him, was more guarded: “It is not like whatever Mr Rao has said, I completely agree with that. But let him speak. If something happens you will get to know”.

On March 4, Ms Banerjee had dialled KCR , following his statement that he was keen to participate in national politics to bring about “qualitative changes” in governance. She had assured him that they could work together.
Today, the 63-year-old Bengal chief minister said, “Sometimes in politics, situations become such that people have to come together to work… We want a strong front but we are not in a hurry”.

Mr Rao underscored that it will be a “federal front”. Asked whether the two Chief Ministers have reached a consensus on whether the Congress could be part of it, he went on to say: “We have to change the routine. Our agenda is the development of the people.

Please do not interpret things but you know that for the past 71 years, what has been happening in the country? Do you want the same thing to continue? The country needs a miracle”.

Since late last year, Ms Banerjee has led the initiative to build support for a common front against the BJP. She has been in touch with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and MK Stalin, the leader of opposition in Tamil Nadu.
Ms Banerjee also had discussions with former Congress chief and Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi, with whom she shares a warm rapport. But her relation with her son Rahul Gandhi has been marked by coolness. There has been little interaction between the two leaders. When Mr Gandhi took charge of the Congress from his mother in December, no word of congratulation came from Kolkata.
Later this month, she is expected to meet the new Congress chief. (With Agency Inputs ).

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