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Thursday 9 April 2020

Telangana CM proposes non-Cong, non-BJP front

Rao said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to him over phone and had conveyed her support to the statement made by him yesterday

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Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao today proposed a “non-Congress, non-BJP front” for the betterment of farmers and Dalits, a day after Congress recorded a dismal performance in the assembly polls in the Northeast and the BJP expanded its footprint.

The chief minister had yesterday expressed his wish to join national politics to effect a “qualitative change”.

Rao, who heads the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), said successive governments ruled by the Congress and the BJP at the Centre have “miserably failed” to ensure development.

“Farmers, Dalits, most backward classes are neglected. This situation should be changed. How long do they need to face problems? This has to change and this is not possible for these two parties. Hence, a non-Congress, non-BJP front should be formed in the country,” Rao said.

He was addressing a gathering of prominent TRS leaders, ministers and elected representatives of the party at Pragathi Bhavan, his official residence here.

Rao said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee spoke to him over the phone and had conveyed her support to the statement made by him yesterday.

The TRS chief said he would talk with all like-minded parties and leaders for creating an agenda for the country’s growth.

Rao said JMM leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren also expressed his solidarity.

“I will soon meet like-minded leaders and we will also hold consultations with economic experts, social scientists and farmers for creating an agenda for the country’s growth,” Rao said.

The Congress failed to get a majority in Meghalaya and did not win a single seat in Tripura or Nagaland, for which elections were held last month.

In a press conference yesterday after the BJP decimated the Left and Congress in the three states, Rao hinted at forming a third front-like platform.

The TRS chief said he was keen to participate in national politics to bring about a “change”.

“People are looking for a change. Can we expect something new to happen if the Congress comes to power after the BJP? It can be a third front or any front… Are we not part of the country? Discussions are going on. There is no secret about it,” he had said.

In the gathering today, Rao underlined the need to implement “truthful cooperative federalism” and delegation of powers to states for their development.

“Such initiative would spread across the country from Telangana,” he said.

Rao alleged that the BJP at the Centre had failed to do anything for developing the country in the last four years.

He said states should be allowed to frame norms regarding quotas.

Batting for decentralisation, the chief minister said that even states can launch and implement schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).

“Can’t state governments do it (undertaking such measures). Change should start and it starts from Telangana for the development of India. Change has to be brought… You cannot threaten me. You can threaten those who resorted to scams, not me,” Rao said.

He said the Constitution should be amended for the sake of the people.

The TRS chief also referred to the “fleeing” of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, wanted in loan default cases, and diamantaire Nirav Modi, an accused in the PNB fraud case, from the country.

Rao said farmers were committing suicide because the BJP and the Congress did nothing for them.

Revealing his national ambitions, Rao yesterday had said people were yearning for change and he would not mind leading the movement for effecting the “change”.

He said he had recently met CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury and discussed a lot of issues.

Yechury’s party had officially rejected any tie-up with the Congress for upcoming elections.

Rao had also said he had nothing against the prime minister.

PTI

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