Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Kadiyam Srihari on Monday called on more parties, including the TDP in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, to join the ‘Third Front’ being proposed by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
“If each person in the two Telugu states wish it, the Congress and the BJP will not stand a chance in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. All the Telugu people must observe this carefully. I request all Telugu people to extend support to the third front being formed by KCR,” Srihari said.
Last week, the TRS chief mooted the idea of a third front and offered to lead it, unveiling plans to conduct a series of meetings across the country to develop a national agenda.
KCR’s idea of a front is to provide an alternative to both the BJP and the Congress.
Taking the example of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister NT Rama Rao, Srihari pointed out that the TDP founder had rallied several opposition parties together for a ‘United Front’.
“He gave a tough fight to the Congress and the BJP then. Today, under KCR’s leadership, let the Telugu people unite. Let’s establish a viable alternative under the guidance of KCR,” he said.
Srihari also went on to say, “Other parties must also put their differences and their egos aside and come join the third front. We are also requesting Chandrababu Naidu and his party, TDP, to come join us, as Andhra Pradesh is presently demanding special category status (SCS), which the Centre is not implementing.”
“So, if Andhra wants special status, the TDP can join the third front and we will be able to make it a reality through that,” he added.
KCR’s move has already received support from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi and actor-politician Pawan Kalyan.
The TRS claimed that six to seven MPs from Maharashtra also telephoned KCR to convey their support.
BJP makes light of third front idea
Meanwhile, the BJP on Monday played down the idea of a third front and said that Indian politics has changed much beyond “the murky waters of third front”.
BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters in New Delhi that the “illusory and elusive concept of third front” is not a new idea.
He said it had started in 1989 and the country has seen these governments followed by the stable National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He added that political parties have the right to make efforts to forge a front in a democracy and that the judgement lies in the hands of people.
“Those who think that they can work magic by allying with a party here and there… the country has changed a lot,” Prasad said.
Prasad added that the BJP had a large number of allies in the NDA and is gaining more as it supports the quest of regional parties for development, without prejudice, and is sensitive to their concerns.