KCR meets Stalin, discusses federal front prospectshttps://indianexpress.com/elections/kcr-meets-stalin-discusses-federal-front-prospects-lok-sabha-elections-5725998/

KCR meets Stalin, discusses federal front prospects

KCR, who flew to Chennai on Sunday evening, is learnt to have told Stalin that the Congress and BJP will not be able to get majority as per his assessment.

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DMK Leader MK Stalin greets Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao at his residence in Chennai. (PTI)

Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday met DMK president M K Stalin in Chennai, where the two leaders discussed the possibility of a federal front forming the next government at the Centre in case neither the NDA nor UPA get the required numbers.

KCR, who flew to Chennai on Sunday evening, is learnt to have told Stalin that the Congress and BJP will not be able to get majority as per his assessment.

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The TRS chief had met Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who heads the CPI(M)-led LDF government, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy last week. Sources said Stalin, who supports the Congress, was earlier reluctant to meet KCR.

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After returning to Hyderabad on May 10, the TRS again sought a meeting between KCR and Stalin, with the latter agreeing to meet on Monday.

While KCR, who returned to power with a landslide victory in Assembly elections held last December, is keen on a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front comprising regional parties, he may not be averse to having Congress on board if the proposed federal front falls short of the desired numbers. Sources said that Stalin hinted to KCR that he should support the Congress rather than insist on a third front excluding the Congress.

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Behind effort, lukewarm response from parties

WHILE KCR initially floated the idea of a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front, blaming both for not doing enough for the country, he seems to have come around after receiving a lukewarm response from many regional party leaders, including Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, who conveyed to him that it was difficult to form an anti-BJP federal front without the Congress. This seems to have forced KCR to reach out to pro-Congress parties which will help him patch up with the Congress so that TRS can be part of the Central government in case it is formed by a Congress-led front.

KCR is also learnt to be trying to mend fences with the Congress through its ally JD(S) in Karnataka and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. Sources said that KCR wants Kumaraswamy to negotiate peace between TRS and Congress. Both parties fell out after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 with KCR calling Congress a sinking ship and refusing to join UPA. KCR had also referred to Rahul Gandhi as a baffoon and a joker. However, TRS MP B Vinod Kumar denied that the TRS and KCR were trying for a rapprochement with Congress. “The federal front that KCR is proposing will be without Congress and BJP,” he said.

Kumar and Rajya Sabha MP J Santosh Kumar accompanied KCR to Stalin’s house.

KCR is now likely to fly to Bengaluru to meet H D Kumaraswamy.