Bengaluru: Efforts to form a “federal front” for the 2019 general elections seems to have gathered pace in the last few weeks. Regional parties plan to come together to give the people an option of a non-BJP and non-Congress alternative. Taking an initiative to achieve this, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is in Bengaluru today, met Janata Dal (Secular) or JDS chief and former prime minister HD Deve Gowda.
Mr Rao, who left Hyderabad for Bengaluru shortly after 10 am this morning, met Mr Deve Gowda at his residence to discuss the current political situation and how to go about forming a “federal front” ahead of 2019.
“Both the leaders are expected to discuss the present political scenario in the country,” a close aide of Mr Rao had told news agency PTI yesterday. He also confirmed that the meeting would last a couple of hours and that Mr Rao would return to Hyderabad by the evening.
Mr Rao will also meet Mr Deve Gowda’s son and former Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who heads Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), had last month met West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Benerjee in Kolkata for the same reason. After his meeting with Ms Banerjee, he had said “the process for creation of the federal front has begun”, and he will now talk to all like-minded parties.
Mamata Banerjee has also pitched for a “federal front” which excludes the Congress. She said that the aim of the “federal front” will be to defeat the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with a “one-to-one” fight in all the states by uniting all regional parties.
Last month the Telangana chief minister had said that he is “keen to participate in national politics to bring about a change”. Addressing a press conference in Hyderabad, he had said: “There is need for qualitative change in the national politics….There is a serious need. People are vexed now. No qualitative change is seen by people even after 70 years of democracy….China developed in less than three decades. What has both Congress and BJP done in all these years?”
He went on to say, “People are looking for change. Can we expect something new to happen if Congress comes to power after BJP? It can be a third front or any front…Are we not part of the country? Discussions are going on. There is no secret about it.”
(With inputs from PTI)