In an attempt to take his brainchild ‘federal front’ forward, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao kickstarted the post-poll alliance talks once again with his May 7 meeting with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. This political move has brought back the speculations around possibility of coalition government led by regional parties.
As K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, is set to tour the country meeting several other leaders of opposition parties including DMK head M K Stalin, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, and the top leaders of Uttar Pradesh’s Gathbandhan (SP-BSP alliance), these speculations have been strengthened.
KCR had first proposed “federal front” in the first half of 2018, but could not elaborate what would be the uniting agendas for such a coalition government except for a non-BJP and non-Congress narrative.
Political analysts and several prominent leaders including Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu have accused that there is a “secret pact” between BJP and KCR.
Reportedly, Vijayan has asked KCR to wait till May 23 (when results will be declared), and told that CPI(M)'s central leadership would take a call in this matter.
Experts are arguing that KCR is exploring several options for a post-poll alliance considering Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s (TRS’s) confidence of winning majority Lok Sabha seats in Telangana.
According to political scientist Ajay Gudavarthy, KCR is looking for a win-win situation, where he could go along with the NDA if it manages to get the majority and probe the option of the Third Front if both the national parties fall short of the majority.
He adds: “What is certain is that he would not go along with the United Progressive Alliance since the Congress is his immediate opponent in Telangana.”
“KCR has not raised any of the issues that are of concern, including the dismantling of institutions, issue of a scam with regard to Rafale, among other issues. He could play an important role if the Third Front needs support from outside. In such a scenario, it would be a front without an agenda of undoing the damage the BJP has done, one has to wait and see how this will weigh with Pinarayi Vijayan and Stalin who have been more upfront in their critique of Narendra Modi’s leadership.”
Telangana-based political analyst Telakapalli Ravi sees KCR’s meeting with Vijayan as an interesting political event in the ongoing elections. “By reaching out to CPI(M) first, KCR now appears to be making serious attempts for a coalition government if both UPA and NDA fail to form the government,” says Ravi. He adds that CPI(M) might consider an alliance with TRS in case of a post-poll alliance if there is a possibility for a non-BJP and non-Congress government.
YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, head of YSR Congress, a key political party in Andhra Pradesh, has several times supported KCR’s idea of federal front.
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