Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao Sunday announced he would launch a national party, saying there was a consensus on an “alternative national agenda”.
In a statement issued following a meeting between Rao, who is popularly known as KCR, and former Karnataka CM and Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy, the Chief Minister’s Office quoted the CM as saying that the decision to float the national party was taken “after prolonged discussions with intellectuals, economists and experts from various fields like we did before the start of Telangana movement”.
KCR added, “Very soon, the formation of a national party and formulation of its policies will take place.”
Over the past few months, KCR travelled to other states to meet Opposition leaders. He visited Delhi, Chandigarh, and Bengaluru in May, went to Bihar last month, and on Sunday held an hours-long meeting with Kumaraswamy. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS) headquarters in Hyderabad, Telangana Bhavan, was abuzz with speculation from the morning about the announcement of the national party.
KCR received Kumaraswamy’s backing to constitute an anti-BJP front and play a key role in the alliance. The CM also ruled out the Congress from such an alliance, saying the party was not a strong-enough alternative to the BJP and people had lost faith in its leadership. KCR, who is looking to bring together like-minded regional parties into such a front, talked of the need to thwart “conspiracies to create divisions among people because of divisive governance”.
Kumaraswamy declared his party’s support for the TRS and welcomed KCR’s announcement. The JD(S) leader, who arrived in the city on Saturday night, had lunch with the CM at his office-cum-residence, Pragati Bhavan, on Sunday afternoon.
Apart from seeking the support of like-minded regional parties, the Telangana CM is also seeking the support of the Left parties, civil society, and intellectuals. Last week, KCR met CPI(M)’s state secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram, former MLA Julakanti Rangareddy and the party’s central committee member Cherupalli Sitaramulu.
In Bihar, where KCR had met his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav, among others, he called for “a BJP-mukt Bharat”. Some of the discussions with regional leaders focused on keeping the Congress out of any federal alliance, sources said. According to TRS functionaries, while some regional leaders are on board with KCR on this proposal, some are not so sure.