Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, and said the “federal front” he has given a call for will comprise “like-minded group of political leaders” who would work towards the “people’s agenda”. The meeting between the leaders, which took place at state secretariat Nabanna, lasted for more than one-and-a-half hours. Later, Banerjee and Rao jointly addressed mediapersons.
“Today, we had a pleasant discussion. We agreed on so many things… and we are trying to bring in a real federal front. This will be a like-minded group of political leaders. Today is just a beginning. Rest we will make it clear when other leaders sit together and discuss and come to a consensus,” Rao said. Maintaining that there is still time to hold talks with other parties, Mamata said: “I think politics is a continuous process. We have started the dialogue. Let others too talk to each other. Automatically, all will come together.”
“We want the federal front to be strong. We have to work together as it is a collective family. Let us approach other parties as well. Let us discuss this matter,” she added. “I don’t think one particular party should rule the country and ask everybody to do what they want. Every party has its regional strength, national strength and its own identity. Everybody should work together.”
The two leaders met after Rao, earlier this month called for a “qualitative change” in politics and said that a non-Congress and non-BJP front should be formed in the country. Mamata had also spoken to Rao over the phone to discuss an alternative front. “When I spoke in Hyderabad, it was mistaken by so many people. Somebody said a third front, this front and that front…This front is definitely going to be a different front… a federal front. This will unify the masses and the people. We fully understand that there is a great need for a political change. We need to liberalise our country like China and so many other economic powers. We strongly feel that there is a need for an alternative agenda for development and an alternative force,” Rao said.
Asked whether the front would also include Congress, Rao said, “Today we met and discussed a lot of things. You will come to know the full details in future because only two (leaders) cannot decide the whole thing. There are friends and there are like-minded people and we have to talk to all of them. We made a good beginning today.”