Before sweeping the Telangana Assembly Elections, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced his interest in national politics by seeking support of regional parties to form a coalition. He envisioned an alliance which would reject both the big national parties, BJP and Congress.
However, the alliance failed to take off after potential allies West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik backed out at the idea of a non-Congress alliance. Like them, many regional parties seem to have shunned the idea of a non-Congress alliance. However, KCR managed to find an ally from the neighbouring state in the form of YSRCP president YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
And while KCR is maintaining silence about the Federal Front, his son, the working president of TRS, K T Rama Rao is certain that KCR will emerge as a kingmaker. According to KTR’s prediction, both BJP and Congress won’t get a majority.
Earlier this week, while the ECI announced the dates of polls, KTR told news agency PTI that BJP would manage to secure only 140 to 150 seats and its allies might put together another 20 or 30; but it would still be short of the majority mark of 272 seats.
“After May 23, 2019, a clearer picture would emerge on how this [Federal Front] can shape up,” KTR had said. According to him, they have support of few parties that are likely to get 75 to 100 seats, and could then decide the fate of which party comes to power.
Hypothetically, even if TRS and YSRCP win a combined total of 42 Lok Sabha seats, it is not sure which other party would support them post elections. While a few analysts dub the Federal Front as a failure, a few are of the opinion that it is too early to dismiss it.
Political analyst Professor K Nageshwar says, “KCR’s Federal Front has no takers, either before or now. Mamata Banerjee had rejected the plan of a non-Congress alliance; similarly, Naveen Patnaik is not too keen about it too. Others have also shunned the proposal.” He adds that KCR is likely to support BJP if it falls short of the majority mark. “He cannot support the Congress, since it is Opposition party in the state,” he says.
However, another analyst T Lakshminarayana says that it is premature to dub the Federal Front as a failure. “Only after the elections we will have a clear picture. Though it is established that Mamata has rejected his proposal, and he too didn’t support her during her fight against the BJP, we still have to wait for the results.”
Shortly before the Telangana elections, KCR had met West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as well as Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. He also held talks with former CM of Jharkhand Hemant Soren, DMK chief M K Stalin and former CM of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav.
However, the proposed Federal Front didn’t take off, with Mamata clearly indicating that she was not interested in KCR’s coalition without the Congress, by partaking in the oath-taking ceremony of H D Kumaraswamy, Chief Minister of Karnataka where a Congress-JD(S) coalition is in power. Similarly, Stalin openly declared that he would support Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate.
KCR later focused on the Telangana state elections and won with a majority of 88 seats of the 119 seats. Rejuvenated by the victory, he yet again made an attempt to bring in regional leaders into his fold. In December 2018, days after the Assembly election, he hired a private plane and toured West Bengal as well as Odisha. Though he also planned to meet BSP chief Mayawati, he couldn’t. #KhabarLive