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Why Telangana CM KCR Visited Bengaluru on Tuesday and Skipped Kumaraswamy's Swearing in

The Chief Minister’s Office has said that Rao will skip Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony because of “important engagements”. Speculation, however, is rife that he doesn’t want to share the stage with leaders of the Congress, the regional rival of his party Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:May 23, 2018, 4:35 PM IST
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Why Telangana CM KCR Visited Bengaluru on Tuesday and Skipped Kumaraswamy's Swearing in
File photo of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao.
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Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao gave the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka a miss on Wednesday, choosing to meet the JD(S) leader a day before instead.

Rao travelled to Bengaluru on Tuesday evening and returned to Hyderabad at night.

The Chief Minister’s Office has said that Rao skipped Kumaraswamy’s oath-taking ceremony because of “important engagements”. Speculation, however, is rife that he didn’t want to share the stage with leaders of the Congress, the regional rival of his party Telangana Rashtra Samiti.

Rao was the first among opposition leaders to moot the idea of a federal front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but the JD(S) decision to enter into post-poll alliance with the Congress has put the TRS chief in a spot.

Not wanting to be seen sharing the same space as Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi months before General and Assembly elections, KCR thus skipped the first big show of opposition unity, that too in a southern state.

Besides the Gandhis, Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in ceremony is being attended by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu.

Kumaraswamy was among the regional leaders KCR had met to gather support for his ‘federal front’ idea and had even urged Telugu voters in Karnataka to back the JD(S).

Reacting to KCR’s move, the Telangana BJP said the ‘federal front’ idea was “nothing but parties uniting against the BJP”.

"KCR supported JD(S) and now they are going with the Congress. The JD(S) and the Congress even chose Hyderabad to shelter their MLAs in a bid to prevent poaching, with TRS support. The TRS hidden agenda is exposed. The federal front is nothing but parties uniting against the BJP. The TRS will become like the JD(S) here and help Congress,” said Telangana BJP president K Laxman.

For Chandrababu Naidu, the swearing-in ceremony is an opportunity to place itself among opposition parties, having quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) earlier this year.
| Edited by: Puja Menon
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