Lok Sabha 2019
Top sources in the DMK and TRS shared details of the closed-door meeting between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and DMK President MK Stalin on Monday.

When Telangana Chief Minister and Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader (TRS) K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that he would be meeting Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President MK Stalin in Chennai, the speculation was that the TRS chief would make a pitch for the DMK to join the Federal Front, or a coalition of regional parties. However, top sources in both DMK and TRS have confirmed to TNM that the two leaders spoke about why a Narendra Modi-led BJP government cannot come to power again and discussed the ways in which such a political situation could be dealt with.

The meeting started with MK Stalin telling KCR his reasons for supporting and endorsing Rahul Gandhi. Stalin was the first leader in the UPA to openly endorse Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister. Stalin, according to sources, told KCR that his party too should support the Congress to form a government. The DMK source also said that Stalin has conveyed to KCR that the Dravidian party's preferred option was to support the Congress and a Federal Front was not their first choice.

TRS sources said that KCR was agreeable to such a proposition, but he also discussed the possibility of a regional coalition supported by Congress from outside.

"We won't make Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to come back to power. If that requires supporting Congress or asking the Congress to support a coalition, we are fine with either," a TRS leader told TNM.

DMK sources confirmed that when Stalin strongly endorsed Rahul Gandhi and a Congress-led government, KCR insisted that if his party was to support such a government, he would still fight to ensure that the states get a better deal. Ensuring that the next government was inclusive and federal in nature was also discussed by the two leaders.

Throughout his campaign in Telangana, KCR had insisted that he was equidistant from both the BJP and the Congress. However, according to a TRS leader TNM spoke to, things have changed rapidly in the past few weeks.

"BJP does not matter to us in the state. Even if we have an understanding with the Congress at the Centre, we are confident that we can handle them here in the state. What has the BJP government done for us in the state?" the leader asked.

A political leader who is in the know of the talks between the two leaders told TNM that there was a possibility KCR was still sending mixed signals. "By telling Stalin that he is okay with Rahul as PM or a regional party leader as PM, KCR is also ensuring that the BJP does not take him for granted."

He added that as far as KCR was concerned, going with the Congress would be a safer choice than going with the BJP. This because, if he chooses to go with the BJP, minorities in Telangana may drift towards the Congress, thereby reviving a party that has been decimated.