Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is making all efforts to strengthen a non-BJP, non-Congress "third front" ahead of 2019 general elections.
Rao’s statement that he was ready to lead a third political front surprised many, considering his warm relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Deputy Chief Minister of Telangana, Kadiyam Srihari, publicly made an appeal to Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to join the "third front".
“If this front comes into power, Andhra Pradesh will be given special status and all promises will be fulfilled. People from both the Telugu states should extend their support and be a part of the political change that KCR wants to bring in the country. We invite Chandrababu Naidu to join the front,” said Kadiyam Srihari in Warangal.
The two chief ministers are known to have been arch rivals.
The remarks come at a time when BJP-TDP alliance is on the rocks and TDP is leading the protest against the BJP-ruled Centre in the Parliament over the issue of Special Category Status. TDP is also seeking support from other parties over the issue of special status.
Naidu, who is an ally of BJP, both in Centre and State, has been hitting out at the BJP for not fulfilling the promises. “BJP should not forget the lesson which was taught to Congress by the people. We are not seeking any favour, but asking what was promised to us at the time of bifurcation,” he said.
The TRS & TDP has been making overtures to each other. Recently, TRS MPs extended their support to the TDP MPs in their fight to get promises made in Reorganisation Act implemented.
In a statement that took many by surprise recently, Naidu hinted at forging an electoral alliance with the TRS in Telangana. During his interaction with Telangana TDP leaders and party workers, Naidu had said the BJP had unilaterally severed its ties with the TDP in Telangana and Congress had also done injustice to the state, leaving the option of tying up with the one party that had fought for achieving statehood for Telangana, the TRS.
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan, Chhattisgarh Janata Congress Party leader and first chief minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Kumar Jogi and Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemanth Soren have extended their support to Rao on the idea of alternate front aimed at bringing qualitative change in national politics. KCR is also in talks with Samajwadi party and DMK, among others.