Mamata backs KCR's call for national front

Wednesday 07th March 2018 06:18 EST

HYDERABAD: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has supported Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's call for a national political formation without the BJP and the Congress. Chief of the Trinamool Congress reportedly told Rao over the telephone that she was willing to work with him to bring in a qualitative change in the country's politics. President of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Rao said he was ready to play a role in national politics and take a leadership initiative for an alternate political front.

Rao said, “People are looking for change. Can we expect something new to happen if Congress comes to power after BJP? It can be a third front or any front. Discussions are going on. There is no secret about it.” He added, “I am asking the Centre to increase support price for crops by Rs 500, so farmers distress can be addressed. Will they do it? They won't. Think Telangana should show the way. Our schemes for farmers is progressive. We can give direction to the country.” Calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “friend”, Rao claimed his initiative was not against the BJP or PM Modi. It is against the slow process of the country, he said.

Rao's remarks came at a time when NDA alliance partner Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is miffed with the BJP over budgetary allocations for Andhra Pradesh. Last month, the party decided to continue with the alliance but said it would step up pressure against the Centre. KCR was a part of NT Rama Rao's Telugu Desam Party when it was part of the National Front government in 1989 as well as with Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party when he became the United Front convenor. Experts say he is hoping to brood in such a scenario. The Tripura result where the BJP went from 1.5 per cent to over 42 per cent would have rattled even Mamata Banerjee. They would be looking at some formation that can arrest the growth of the BJP.

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