K Chandrasekhar Rao. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Only seasoned politicians coming together on one platform - Mahagathbandhan, can put up a strong candidature against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has done some unparalleled work in the last four and a half years.
After sweeping the Assembly elections in Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) has revived his efforts for a non-Congress and non-BJP Federal Front.
Rao, who was instrumental in the formation of the Telangana state, has asserted that his party will play a crucial role in national politics. KCR has said that he intends to give a new definition to the national scenario - just like Telangana which stands a non-Congress and non-BJP state.
KCR's victory in the state Assembly polls was no less than a historic one, bagging 88 seats in the 119-member House.
On Monday, KCR met Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. However, both Patnaik and Mamata have not committed their participation in the Federal Front yet. Hiding his visible disappointment, Rao said their dialogue will continue for an alternative front to the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliances.
Carrying on with his mission of creating a non-Congress Federal Front, KCR will now meet Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati.
On the other hand, KCR's arch-rival and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu is also running pillar to post to unite all the like-minded Opposition parties to take on the BJP in 2019 elections.
In a significant move, Naidu dropped his 'non-Congress Third Front' plank and approached party president Rahul Gandhi to garner his support for the Grand Alliance. Putting aside over three decades of rivalry, both the leaders even addressed public meetings together as part of their campaign for just-concluded Telangana Assembly polls.
Mamata Banerjee, a key interlocutor among Opposition parties, too has been trying to bring anti-BJP parties under one umbrella. Naidu and Mamata have been in sync with each other to achieve their common goal - demolishing BJP. Therefore, it's unlikely that Mamata will support KCR's Federal Front (Regional Federation) over the national-level Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan).
Furthermore, seasoned leaders like Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah have authorised Chandrababu Naidu to speak to Opposition leaders to devise the future strategy for United Opposition. DMK chief Stalin has already proposed the Congress president's name as United Opposition's PM candidate. Naidu also has the support of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Here is another reason which might hold back political parties from supporting KCR - the Telangana chief minister is accused of acting as team B of BJP-led NDA and trying to weaken the proposed Mahagathbandhan.
Moreover, after Congress's triumph in the recently held Assembly elections, Rahul Gandhi has emerged as a confident and formidable leader. It is nearly impossible for Opposition leaders to ignore the Gandhi scion.
KCR has indeed proved his mettle by leading the struggle for Telangana and forming government in the state for the second time, however, only seasoned politicians coming together on one platform - Mahagathbandhan, can put up a strong candidature against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has done some unparalleled work in the last four and a half years.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)