March 30, 2023

Mamata, KCR take leads in forging new opposition front with non-BJP CMs; next move after state poll results | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR), like Mamata Banerjee, has been calling up his counterparts across states to forge an anti-BJP front. However any further move will be decided only after the assemble elections in UP and four other states.
With political momentum gaining speed, Banerjee has taken the lead in calling a non-BJP chief minister’s conference in Delhi, where KCR, Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackaray are expected to be present. While Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan are among likely invitees, it is to be seen whether Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik joins the camp on anti-federal policies of the Centre. Efforts are on to include as many non-BJP CMs as possible to be attending the meeting, the date for which will be finalised after the five assembly poll results are out on March 10.
What shape the anti-BJP front finally takes will be clear during the Presidential and vice presidential elections that are coming up in July this year. The presidential and vice-presidential elections will be the first major political events after these five state polls where the political formulations will be clear, said sources in TRS and other parties.
According to well-placed sources, while Congress chief ministers have not been invited, the doors to the non-BJP conclave will remain open for them.
For a broad based non-BJP front, the regional parties like TMC or TRS are of the view that Congress should be part of it but “not in the leadership position,” but as an “equal partner,” sources told TOI. The regional parties like TMC, TRS among others are keen to disallow to let go off the momentum that may be gained, if BJP loses some of the state polls that are underway at present.
On his part, KCR has joined the anti-BJP camp since the first phase of the Budget session of Parliament that just got over. TRS MP K Keshav Rao signed the joint memorandum to the Prime Minister last week, against the Centre’s anti-federal moves. KCR has said that he will be campaigning for Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and his allies in the Uttar Pradesh elections. He has also been talking to his counterparts in Maharashtra, Kerala, Bengal and also reaching out to other CMs and regional party leaders.
KCR’s turn-around from being a tacit ally of the Modi government, since BJP’s recent electoral gains in the state was clear when he supported the Centre’s moves during the first half of the budget session. According to sources, that BJP is getting aggressive in Telengana where it has very little footprint yet, is a cause of concern for the chief minister since it could fan communal politics in the state and disrupt the ambience in Hyderabad which is a hub for industry.
With these political compulsions having pushed KCR into the Opposition camp, other parties, that were sceptical of the TRS chief earlier, seem to be accepting him in the fold.

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