Heady with the landslide victory in the recent Assembly elections, Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao is now on a mission to craft a Federal Front to pursue his ambition of rewriting Indian Constitution for devolution of more powers to the states.
He believes that neither the Congress nor the BJP has the courage to transfer the entire concurrent list in the constitution to the states or the vision to utilise country’s vast natural resources to make life more comfortable to the people.
To achieve this objective of stitching up a non-BJP and non-Congress federal coalition, KCR has set out on a tour of North Indian states to test the waters whether the leaders of respective states share his concern for federal spirit and be part of his endeavour.
The chief minister, in his first attempt, does not seem to have convinced them. Though Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik said he endorsed KCR’s view, he, however, did not commit his support to the federal front initiative. But Naveen Patnaik is a shrewd politician and his only interest is his state and he plays his political game cautiously to suit his state’s interests rather than going all out for total catharsis of governance.
In West Bengal too, KCR’s invitation to Mamata Banerjee has evoked a cold response. Mamata is known to keep her cards close to her chest but one should keep in mind that she has Congress DNA in her. That means, in a difficult situation, Mamata may be amenable for the Congress to do political business with.
KCR’s meeting with Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati had not materialised so far, making one wonder if they have different ideas now. With the Congress making smart gains in the recent Assembly elections and Modi graph beginning to nosedive, the leaders appear to be keeping their options open rather than acting prematurely and identifying either with NDA or UPA or Federal Front.
In KCR’s itinerary, meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been thrown in, which naturally raises the doubt whether his claims that he was building an alliance to serve as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP are true.
Already, KCR’s critics – AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and CPI general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy had wondered if KCR met Modi only to apprise him on the outcome of his meetings with Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee. Though the CMO had made it amply clear that KCR was meeting Narendra Modi as it is customary for a chief minister to do so after winning an election, very few are willing to buy the argument. They believe that KCR is B team of Narendra Modi to scupper the Opposition alternative with his Federal Front initiative.
Since beginning, KCR relations with BJP are seen from the prism of doubt by the Opposition parties because of the importance Modi gives to him. For chief ministers of other states, it is very difficult to get Prime Minister’s appointment, in fact, Naidu had tried several times, but for KCR, the doors of the prime minister’s office are always open. This apart, KCR had supported many of the policies of Narendra Modi, and his opposition to the BJP in the recent assembly election is seen as a show to convince muslims that he is not working in league with Modi.
Though on the face of it, KCR’s Federal Front has irresistible attraction since it primarily looks at transferring most of the powers of the centre to the states, the Telangana chief minister believes that if all the regional parties come together, national parties would have to play second fiddle to them as has happened in Karnataka. But for this to happen, KCR has miles to go before he could sleep. #KhabarLive