Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhara Rao stressed Sunday that he would only support a non-BJP government at the Centre, and hinted that he would wholeheartedly support a third front.
“The NDA won’t reach more than 200 seats in the elections. It will be a confederation of regional parties which will form the next government at the Centre,” KCR said in Karimnagar where he launched his election campaign.
“The TRS will definitely form the first government of Telangana. We are a secular party and do not indulge in divisive politics. I want Hindus, Muslims, Christians and all minorities to live peacefully in Telangana. So we wont support only parties that are secular,” KCR said at a public meeting.
Clearly aimed at the 12 per cent Muslim population in the new state, KCR’s comments are also being seen as a message to the Congress that he may be willing to support it after elections, but it was the signal to the third front that was more explicit.
KCR sought to gauge the public’s mood by often asking them to raise their hands if they agreed with him. Not too many hands, however, went up.
KCR’s campaign managers have gone hi-tech and plan to use 3D hologram technology to reach a wider audience at several places. He plans to address some 700-odd meetings by April 28, the last day of campaigning, using that technology.
KCR reached the Kalasala ground in Karimnagar town at 7 pm. It was here in 2001 that he had addressed a massive gathering and taken an oath to achieve statehood for Telangana. “This is the same ground, the same place, where the TRS took a vow to achieve Telangana state. Several people including N Chandrababu Naidu said that after six months we won’t have an address. It is not us but the TDP and Naidu who do not have an address anymore. Do we need a party like the TDP which is an Andhra party in Telangana?” he said.
He sought to strike an emotional chord with a crowd, which appeared largely unresponsive, by calling P Padmavati, wife of police constable P Kistaiah who had shot himself for Telangana.
Speaking to The Indian Express, P Padmavati said: “My husband is not here to celebrate Telangana or see KCR address this public meeting after the declaration of a new state. But I am happy for the people of Telangana.”
Talking about the third front, KCR said Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha and leaders such as Naveen Patnaik were in touch with him because they wanted a non-BJP government. The mention of a confederation of regional parties was also a hint that he was not averse to joining hands with the YSRCP when it comes to supporting the government at the Centre.
While KCR arrived in a helicopter accompanied by K Keshava Rao, his son K R Rama Rao sat in the crowd from 5 pm, ostensibly to gauge the mood of the people.