For months now, the chief of Telengana Rashtra Samiti, K Chandrasekhar Rao, has met many political leaders across India, in his bid to form a ‘non-BJP, non-Congress’, Federal Front for 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. In what can perhaps be termed as the most significant in these string of efforts by KCR, was the meeting with Jagan Mohan Reddy of the YSR Congress on Wednesday.
This time, however, KCR deputed his son and TRS working President KT Rama Rao to conduct the meeting. With YRSCP and TRS predicted to win a large chunk of the 25 seats in Andhra Pradesh and 17 seats in Telangana respectively, Jagan joining hands with KCR for the Federal Front could make it formidable, or least give the front significant bargaining power.
KTR reached Jagan’s residence in Lotus Pond on Wednesday afternoon and was accompanied by TRS MP Vinod Kumar and MLC Palla Rajeshwar along with other senior leaders. KTR on Twitter had said that he was meeting Jagan on the instructions of KCR and an offer would be extended to the YSRCP to join the Federal Front. Jagan had senior YSRCP leaders including MPs YV Subba Reddy, Vijayasai Reddy and Mithun Reddy for company.
Emerging from the meeting, Jagan said, “I spoke to KCR garu on the phone and we discussed about the federal front and about the injustice from the Centre to the states. If we want that to change, we need to act. Take special status to Andhra for example. A promise made with the Parliament as witness, was not fulfilled. Many such promises are pending.”
Jagan then spoke about how the two parties together can be a powerful bargaining block.
“If we look at the MP representation of each state, it is not much, which is why even with 25 MPs in AP when we demanded special status, nothing happened. But now with 17 MPs from Telangana joining hands, it will help our case much better and stronger and the Centre cannot ignore it,” he told the media.
Stating that KCR would soon meet Jagan in Andhra, KTR said, "KCR has been saying that a change should come in the country since the Centre is not caring for states’ rights. And with a federal spirit, he has begun work. We discussed our plans for the front. Like minded forces who believe in strengthening regional parties and states are coming together. Soon KCR will go to Andhra and meet Jagan and take this discussion forward."
Jagan added, "If we want the Centre to take note of injustice to states, we should come together which is why the front of KCR where many MPs from different states come together for the causes of each individual state on a common platform, is very welcome."
Jagan Mohan Reddy had recently completed a 14-month long padayatra, in which he covered over 134 out of 175 Assembly constituencies in the state. High on the success of the yatra, YSRCP believes that with Naidu faltering on the emotional issue of Special Status to Andhra Pradesh, they can walk away with a large number of Lok Sabha seats and also form the state government in the upcoming Andhra Assembly Elections.
A ‘Political Stock Exchange Programme’ by India Today and My Axis in September 2018 had said that around 43% of respondents to the survey favoured Jagan as the next Chief Minister as against 38% supporting incumbent N Chandrababu Naidu.