As KCR's Third Front Train Gathers Steam, 'Busy' Stalin Takes U-turn on Meeting
Earlier, a statement from Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao had said that he would meet the DMK chief at his Chennai residence on May 13.
Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao meets Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. (PTI Photo)
Chennai: With a little over two weeks left for the Lok Sabha 2019 election results to be declared, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekar Rao has started making moves as he aims to emerge as the kingmaker in the likely scenario that neither the BJP nor the Congress get a clear majority on their own.
To this effect, the TRS chief met Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. But it would not be all smooth sailing for him as DMK on Tuesday indicated that its party chief MK Stalin may not meet KCR on May 13 as planned earlier.
Sources close to the DMK President only said Stalin was 'busy' with his campaign schedule for the May 19 by-polls to four constituencies in the state and declined to divulge more details.
Earlier, a statement from the Telangana Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had said that Rao would meet the DMK chief at his residence in Chennai on May 13.
The TRS chief has been proposing a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front at the Centre. As part of his plan, KCR has embarked on a tour of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Telangana chief minister is hoping that both the DMK and the JDS join the federal front in a post-poll scenario, where regional parties would emerge as the key players.
“Monday'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.
Rao, who had floated the idea of a third front some time ago, had met Stalin in April last as part of his outreach to regional parties, with the DMK leader hosting lunch for the visiting TRS supremo and his party colleagues.
However, the Dravidian party later entered into a poll pact with Congress and faced the April 18 Lok Sabha polls in the state in alliance with the national party as part of a mega coalition that also includes the Left.
The DMK's move is perceived as a signal to the Telangana veteran that it was keen to carry on its alliance with the Congress even after the results of the seven-phase polling are out on May 23.
Stalin had also backed Congress president Rahul Gandhi as the Opposition's Prime Ministerial candidate at a party meeting, though the idea did not find favour with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
While by-polls to 18 assembly seats were held on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha elections, four others are going to polls on May 19. The outcome of the by-polls is crucial for Tamil Nadu as it would determine the continuance of the ruling AIADMK in power.
Therefore, all parties including arch rivals AIADMK and DMK are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they won maximum seats even as Stalin has been claiming that the ruling party will lose the elections and pave the way for a new government headed by the DMK.
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