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TRS ‘national party’ in the works: KCR’s national ambitions at full steam

Telangana CM receives JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy’s backing, rules out tie-up with Congress for anti-BJP front

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao in a meeting with former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy at Pragathi Bhavan, in Hyderabad. (PTI Photo)

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday announced the launch of his 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.”

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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 grand old 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”.

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Kumaraswamy declared his party’s support for the TRS and welcomed KCR’s announcement about the launch of a national party.

KCR and other Oppn leaders

In a follow-up to their meeting in Bengaluru in May, KCR invited Kumaraswamy to Hyderabad. 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. After that, according to insiders, the two began their discussions.

At their previous meeting, Kumaraswamy’s father and former Prime Minister H D Devegowda was also present and the talks had centred on forging an anti-BJP alliance in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. On Sunday, Kumaraswamy, insiders said, also spoke to KCR on the development of Telangana, the role of regional parties, and the role the CM could play at the moment in national politics.

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In Bihar, where KCR 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.

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. The discussions went on for about an hour.

Afterwards, KCR called upon democratic and secular forces to come together to thwart any attempt to create religious hatred, saying there is no space for it in Telangana or the rest of India. He also asked intellectuals to join the fight against the politics of religious polarisation and thanked the CPI(M) for backing his call to bring together politicians and civil society members.

First published on: 11-09-2022 at 04:48:17 pm
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