The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will not be part of the May 21 all-party meet called by non-BJP parties to select a Prime Ministerial candidate two days before the election results are announced. The TRS’s reason: the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister heading the helm of affairs at the meet.
The all-party meet was called by the TDP chief and AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu along with the Congress President Rahul Gandhi. The meeting was to be attended by all anti-BJP political parties part of the Mahagathbandhan grand alliance. Parties that are yet to pick a side were also expected to be at the meeting.
However, those in the TRS feel the party will wait for the Andhra Pradesh state and the Lok Sabha election results to be declared to know the fate of the TDP and its relevance in national politics. For the TRS, if their sole Federal Front ally, the YSRCP, wins and the TDP performs poorly, it would help them bargain better in the post-poll alliance discussions at the Centre.
“We will not be part of the May 21 all-party meet,” confirmed sitting MP from Karimnagar B Vinod Kumar. The TRS says the proposed meeting may not even take place. “We got information that the all-party meeting is not going to be held, as Mamata Banerjee has told Naidu they should not go ahead with it,” he added.
The TRS wants to come up with a Federal Front that consists of all regional parties minus the TDP, the Congress and the BJP. But plans to rope in regional parties to their cause have not exactly been going the way Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao would want.
As part of forming the Federal Front, KCR had been in talks with various regional party heads from early 2018. Though some leaders were open to the idea at the time, most, if not all, were non-committal to the proposal.
But as the results day nears, TMC leader Mamata, with whom KCR met in December and who had initially appeared to be receptive to the Federal Front idea, has leaned more towards the TDP with Naidu campaigning for her and both holding closed-door post-poll alliance talks.
After meeting Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to woo the Left parties to the Front, KCR was to meet DMK chief MK Stalin but the meeting was postponed to May 12 and then to May 13.
Vinod Kumar also did not confirm if the meeting between the two leaders would take place as scheduled tomorrow. “It may happen on the same day or get shifted by a day or two,” he said, adding that the DMK had not informed the TRS of any changes to the meeting plan. “Stalin is busy with the bye-polls, the meeting will happen when the time suits both the leaders,” he stated.
Those working closely with the party feel that the TRS, with its ally YSRCP, will have a bigger role to play in national politics once the election results are out. “We will wait and watch as to who wins,” Vinod said when asked about the changing dynamics of the regional parties as result day nears.
Another TRS leader K Narasimha Naidu said, “The YSRCP is poised to win in the state and Lok Sabha elections in Andhra Pradesh. Once that happens, the role of TDP in national politics will diminish. The YSRCP and TRS will together bring in 42 seats to the Lok Sabha and hence will have a greater say on who forms the government at the Centre. KCR wants to bring a drastic change to the Centre as the Congress and the BJP model of governance has failed. There is a KCR model for farmers, irrigation, electricity that is different from other states. KCR wants to emulate this model in the Centre.”
When asked why parties would be interested in KCR’s model of governance when they have their own, the leader responded by saying, “Everyone has their own ideologies. KCR wants to bring a common minimum programme and bring in a common agenda.”
Also read: Congress holds informal talks with TRS and YSRCP, both remain non-committal