Telangana chief minister Chandrashekar Rao’s week-long journey to push his idea of a non-Congress, non-BJP Federal Front has hit another roadblock: the two key leaders of Uttar Pradesh. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav is not available for now and Mayawati is yet to confirm her presence.
Mr Rao, who is in Delhi, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Over today and tomorrow, he was also scheduled to meet Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav, his party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi had said.
Though Mayawati has been in Delhi since Sunday, she has not yet confirmed the time for the proposed meeting.
Congratulating Mr Rao — known as KCR among his supporters — for his continued efforts, Mr Yadav said he would not be able to meet him in Delhi. But in future, he would go to Hyderabad and meet the Chief Minister.
“In the coming days, it will be decided what kind of alliance will be formed, who will be in it and who wants to be in it… options are open,” he said.
Mr Rao had left Hyderabad on Sunday and met his counterparts from Odisha and Bengal, but so far he has drawn a blank.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has made no commitment about his participation in the Federal Front.
Mamata Banerjee, too, had been non-committal. At the post-meet press conference, she appeared at Mr Rao’s side, but remained entirely silent. Her party played down the visit, saying given the political acumen of Ms Banerjee, it was natural that “many people” would come to meet her.
After sweeping the assembly elections in the state, Mr Rao had been clearing decks to step up his campaign for the Federal Front, which is expected to catapult him onto the national stage. He has made his son the working president of his party and even hired a private jet for a month to help him with the city-hopping.
The Congress, which had dubbed KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi the “B Team of the BJP” in the run-up to the state elections, said his idea will only help the BJP.
“This Federal Front idea… the truth behind it is nothing but an attempt to ensure that BJP and ‘Modi Sarkar’ come back to power,” state Congress leader Rajeev Gowda was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India.
The BJP has said the efforts to form a Federal Front only indicated that opposition parties don’t find Rahul Gandhi acceptable as a leader of the front against the BJP.
“That the so-called Opposition unity against the BJP is a bogus claim is evident from the multiple fronts being forged by non-NDA parties,” BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao was quoted as saying by PTI.