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'Won't Cede Driver's Seat': Federal Front Ready to Take Cong Support for Post-Poll Alliance, Says TRS

In case the front falls short of numbers to form the government, the option of the Congress supporting it from outside would be explored, said Telangana Rashtra Samithi spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan.

PTI

Updated:May 14, 2019, 6:31 PM IST
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'Won't Cede Driver's Seat': Federal Front Ready to Take Cong Support for Post-Poll Alliance, Says TRS
File photo of Chief Minister of Telangana K Chandrashekar Rao. (PTI)

Hyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday said a federal front of regional parties proposed by its supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is open to taking support from the Congress to form a government at the Centre as long as they don't ask for the driver's seat.

Rao has been pursuing his idea of a federal front of non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties since last year, and TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan's statement that his party is ready to do business with the Rahul Gandhi-led outfit is seen as significant ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results next week.

"KCR (as Rao is popularly known as) is very firm that the federal front should be in the driver's seat and run the government," Khan said.

In case the front falls short of numbers to form the government, the option of the Congress supporting it from outside would be explored, he said.

"But the government would be of the federal front and Congress will have to extend support from outside. We are very firm that regional parties should be in the driver's seat. The prime minister's post should go to one of the constituents of the federal front. The prime ministerial candidate will be a consensus candidate from among the constituents (of the federal front)", Khan said.

"We are open to talk to them (Congress) and see whether they support us to form government. If they do, regional parties are not averse as long as they (Congress) don't come into the driver's seat,” he said. The TRS leadership had earlier expressed its opposition to aligning with either the Congress or the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh in case of a post-poll alliance.

The statement came hours after Rao met DMK chief MK Stalin at his residence in Chennai and urged him to extend support to the Congress.

In the meeting, Stalin conveyed to Rao that his party was in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress and he had also pitched Rahul Gandhi’s name for Prime Minister.

However, the proposed federal front is not going to align in anyway with the BJP, Khan said.

"We are averse to the BJP. We do not want to have anything with the BJP, neither to support them or take their support. Most of the constituents speaking with KCR are also of the same opinion that they will not have any truck with the BJP," he said.

The TRS leader said KCR had taken up an outreach programme to regional parties based on the inputs that they are going to win substantial number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

He said parties such as the SP, BSP, YSRCP, DMK and TRS would do well in the elections, but the Congress would not cross the 100-seat mark.

If the Congress does not win 180-200 seats on its own, its allies like the DMK would see "no fun" in being with it and would come to the federal front, Khan said.

"The JDS will have an upper hand in Karnataka. We have started speaking to Communist parties, expecting they will do well in Kerala and some other places," he said.

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