In his efforts to gather support for a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao met his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday.
Divulging details about the two-hour long closed door meeting which comes with two more rounds to go in the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections, Vijayan said: "Yesterday's meeting with KC Rao was significant. We discussed the national political scenario. According to KC Rao, both the fronts may not get a majority. So, the regional parties will play a prominent role. There were no discussions about the PM candidate."
But, NDTV quoted sources saying that during the meeting, Rao proposed a prime minister “preferably from south India” but took no names.
The outreach to the Left is a first by the Telangana Chief Minister, who has often been seen backing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on several issues.
The Congress has dubbed Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi as the “B team of BJP” and has said that his efforts to form a federal front will only help the BJP.
A statement from the Telangana Chief Minister's Office (CMO) earlier said, Rao will meet Vijayan at Thiruvananthapuram Monday evening, while he will call on DMK president M K Stalin at his residence in Chennai on May 13.
Discussing the Rao-Stalin meeting, it said, "Both the leaders are likely to discuss current political scenario in the context of ongoing Parliamentary elections."
However, PTI on Tuesday quoted sources close to Stalin saying that the DMK President was 'busy' with his campaign schedule for the May 19 by-polls to four constituencies in the state, indicating that he may not meet Rao.
Learning about his visits to Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy also had a telephonic talk with Rao, the statement said.
Ever since floating the idea of a federal front a year ago, KCR has met a series of party leaders to push for the front, including Mamata Banerjee, Deve Gowda of Janata Dal (Secular), M K Stalin of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP). However, the only leader who has openly backed KCR is Reddy.
The chief minister's daughter and sitting Nizamabad Lok Sabha member K Kavitha told PTI recently that regional parties not aligned with the Congress and the BJP will get 120-plus seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, and may hold the key to government formation.
She said the TRS is in touch with various parties not part of the BJP-led NDA and Congress-anchored UPA in its efforts to forge a federal front of regional outfits.
A federal front will take good shape after the Lok Sabha election results are out, Kavitha said.