KCR against sharing stage with Rahul Gandhi, to skip Mamata Banerjee's January 19 rally

Source: PTI | Published on 11th January 2019, 1:08 AM | National News |

HYDERABAD: TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao will in all likelihood give a miss to the January 19 rally of opposition parties proposed by the TMC in Kolkata as he does not want to share stage with the Congress, party sources said.

KCR, as he is popularly known, had recently met Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as part of his renewed efforts towards forging a 'non-Congress, non-BJP' federal front of regional parties.

While the Telangana chief minister spoke to media after their meeting in Kolkata on December 24 last, Mamata, reportedly not in favour of excluding the Congress in the proposed grand opposition alliance, did not offer any comment.

Asked if KCR would attend the Kolkata rally, TRS deputy floor leader in the Lok Sabha, B Vinod Kumar told PTI Thursday, "I do not know whether KCR got the invitation or not. I am not aware of it. He might have got the invitation. I do not think KCR will attend when Rahul Gandhi is attending."

For the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Congress is the main opposition in Telangana and KCR had last year described its president Rahul Gandhi as the "biggest baffoon" in the country.

The TRS returned to power last month, winning 88 seats in the 119-member Telangana Assembly, pushing the Congress to a distant second position with 19 seats.

The BJP won in only one segment.

KCR had also recently met Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJP) chief Naveen Patnaik seeking to drum up support for the federal front.

Patnaik's statement on Wednesday that his party would not align with the Congress and BJP has enthused the TRS.

"I do not think because of KCR's visit, he (Patnaik) made such a statement. He took that position long back. He held the same view for a long time," Kumar said.

He said both KCR and Patnaik have "same thoughts" as both are against aligning with the two national parties.

The TRS leader said Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, who could not meet KCR during the latter's visit to Delhi recently, was expected to visit the southern state "any time" to talk to the Telangana chief minister.

On BSP supremo Mayawati's stance on KCR's federal front, he said, "We did not discuss with her".

The TRS sources claimed that KCR's federal front idea was gaining traction.

"Already that idea is broached. Mayawati and Akhilesh took a stand that they are not going to ally with Congress in Uttar Pradesh. They are also fighting against the Congress and BJP, leaving only two seats for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," Kumar said.

The TRS MP also cited the political scenario in some states, including West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana, where, he said, regional parties were set to take on both the Congress and BJP in triangular fights in the next Lok Sabha polls.

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