Election 2019

KCR, Chandrababu Naidu go all-out to woo partners ahead of Lok Sabha poll results

KCR, Chandrababu Naidu go all-out to woo partners ahead of Lok Sabha poll results – Hindustan Times

The chief ministers of the Telugu states — K Chandrashekar Rao of Telangana and N Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh — are competing with each other to play the role of a kingmaker in forming the next government at the Centre after the declaration of results on May 23.While KCR, as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president is popularly called, is hopeful that a federal front of non-Congress and non-BJP parties would emerge as a front-runner for power after the elections, Naidu is going all out in his efforts to bring all the non-BJP parties under one umbrella to form the next government at the Centre.As part of his mission, KCR embarked on a tour of Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Monday afternoon. He met Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the evening to discuss “contemporary politics” in view of the Lok Sabha elections.On May 13, the TRS chief will meet Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin at the latter’s residence in Chennai as part of his efforts to form the federal front. The CMO spokesman further said KCR had received a call from Janata Dal (S) leader and Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy. After his Kerala and Tamil Nadu tour, KCR might go to Bengaluru to revive talks with Kumaraswamy.Interestingly, both the DMK and the JD(S) have an electoral understanding with the Congress in the ongoing general elections in their respective states. KCR is hoping that both the DMK and the JD(S) would join the non-Congress, non-BJP federal front in a post-poll scenario where regional parties would emerge as the key players, a senior TRS leader familiar with the development said.Though the TRS president’s further programmes are not yet scheduled, he is expected to visit Odisha and West Bengal, too, before the announcement of the election results so as to consolidate the support of the Biju Janata Dal and the Trinamool Congress for the federal front. “The Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine in UP is a natural partner for the federal front, as they are already against both the BJP and the Congress,” the TRS leader said.On the other hand, the TDP chief also left for New Delhi on Monday evening. According to TDP sources, Naidu will spend a day in the capital mobilising support for his demand to count at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips along with the EVMs during the counting. The review petition is coming up for hearing in Supreme Court on Tuesday.Later, Naidu is expected to leave for West Bengal on Wednesday morning and take part in a few election rallies of the TMC for two days, before returning to Vijayawada on Thursday night.According to a senior TDP leader, Naidu will continue his efforts to sustain the anti-BJP coalition as an effective alternative to the NDA. “We believe there will only be one alternative to the NDA, which has to include the Congress and there is no place for a third front. Going by the trends of the four phases of elections held so far, the anti-BJP front will emerge as a potential force and will form the government at the Centre,” he said.Keeping in mind the opposition from some regional parties to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s candidature for the prime minister’s post, Naidu already made it clear that the PM candidate would be decided only after the elections by a core group of parties. He also asserted that he would be part of the core group and that he himself was not a candidate for the top post.Senior journalist and political analyst S Ramakrishna said there was no consistency in KCR’s efforts in forming the federal front as he had been taking long gaps in meeting the other regional party leaders and so far, there is no clarity on his non-Congress, non-BJP stand.“On the other hand, ever since Naidu left the NDA fold, he has been consistently pursuing his agenda of building a non-BJP front that includes Congress. In any case, who the kingmaker will be — KCR or Naidu — will be known only after the elections,” he said.
First Published:
May 06, 2019 19:37 IST

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