Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has stepped up efforts to forge a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. After meeting his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik on Sunday, he is expected to meet various other leaders, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
His party, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), has hired a special aircraft for a period of one month for Rao’s trips to various places.
His trip began on Sunday after he left for Visakhapatnam en route to Bhubaneswar. He met Patnaik on Sunday evening and the two chief ministers had a detailed discussion on national issues, including the need for “better friendship among regional parties”, Patnaik said.
The TRS chief will visit Konark Temple and Jagannath Temple by road today, according to an official release.
From Bhubaneswar, Rao will travel to Kolkata, where he will call on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the release had said.
After visiting the Kalighat Temple in Kolkata, he will leave for New Delhi in the night. From 25 December, for two to three days, Rao will be in the national capital, the release added.
Rao will make a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his stay in New Delhi, it had said, adding that he will also meet former Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav.
‘Dire need’ for unification of regional parties: KCR
During his meeting with Patnaik, Rao emphasised a “dire need” for unification of regional parties to provide an alternative to the Congress and the BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes to Hyderabad and says the TRS is the “B team” of the Congress, its president Rahul Gandhi claim that the TRS president is the “B team” of the BJP, Rao said, adding, “Let me tell you, we are our own team.”
(With PTI inputs)