Hyderabad: As part of his efforts to bring like-minded parties on a single platform, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao is understood to have decided on undertaking a whirlwind tour of at least 15 major States in the country immediately after the Budget session of the State Assembly beginning March 12. The spadework has already begun in this regard, including the decision to appoint a coordination committee comprising senior TRS leaders to oversee arrangements.
The Chief Minister, after declaring that he would lead a non-BJP, non-Congress political front at the national level, had announced that he would hold consultations with various organisations and experts from various fields. While consultations with political forces have already begun, Chandrashekhar Rao is likely to constitute a coordination committee soon comprising Ministers, MPs and legislators who would take on the responsibility of organising both public and private meetings with individuals and groups in at least 15 major States.
“There has been tremendous response to the Chief Minister’s call from different parts of the country for a qualitative change in national politics. However, we need to prepare an action plan for scheduling meetings with experts from various fields, including civil servants and politicians, for which a coordination committee would be formed soon,” a TRS legislator told Telangana Today. The coordination committee is likely to be constituted in a couple of weeks, considering the support pouring in for the Chief Minister’s decision.
Meanwhile, Chandrashekhar Rao is expected to begin his nation-wide tour after the Budget session. The tour is aimed at bringing together like-minded forces who have already extended support to the cause. Sources said agriculture and farmers’ welfare are high on his agenda, besides harnessing the abundant river water resources available in the country when he meets with both political entities and experts from various fields. The sources further said that Rao had already put together a team of strategists to work out State-wise issues which need to be addressed. A draft agenda will be ready before he launches his national tour.
A senior Minister told Telangana Today that the Chief Minister had been considering floating a political front at the national level for some time now and had shared his thoughts with like-minded friends across the nation. “Chandrashekar Rao did have a lot of faith and confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and supported him on demonetisation and GST with the hope that it would benefit the nation if not Telangana State in particular. The Chief Minister was keen on addressing farmers’ problems and had made several representations to the Prime Minister in the past in this regard. It was only after Modi failed to respond to his pleas that he decided to float a third political front,” the Minister said.
The Chief Minister is confident that the new front will hold sway in six to seven States in the 2019 general elections, party sources said. Senior TRS leaders are of the view that there are dissenting political voices against both BJP and Congress which would facilitate formation of the third front. While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemanth Soren and other old friends of Chandrashekhar Rao have already pledged their support, the Left parties are also in touch with him in this regard.
“We are also expecting support from former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who suffered defeat due to alliance with Congress. By endorsing special category status for Andhra Pradesh and BJP not yielding to it, Chandrashekhar Rao has put Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in a spot,” a senior party leader observed. Further, the party leaders are confident that Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik would support Chandrashekhar Rao as Biju Janata Dal was facing a threat from BJP in Odisha and the party was unwilling to ally with Congress.