With NDA win, K Chandrasekhar Rao’s federal front plan in tatters

Hyderabad: With the ruling NDA secured a majority on its own in the Lok Sabha polls, TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s plans to stitch a “non-Congress, non-BJP” front of regional parties is in tatters.

Anticipating a hung parliament, the TRS was gearing itself to play a “king-maker” role along with parties not aligned with the Congress and the BJP. But BJP capturing over 300 seats on its own, poured cold water on Rao’s plans. Rao had met several regional leaders, including his West Bengal and Odisha counterparts Mamata Banerjee and Naveen

Patnaik respectively, DMK president M K Stalin and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, as part of his outreach to opposition parties. However, he did not appear to have received unequivocal support from others, except YS Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSRCP as his efforts to form the federal front failed to make headway and remained a non-starter, according to Rao’s critics.

His decision to advance the assembly polls eight months before its expiry last year was hailed as a ‘master-stroke’ as the TRS returned to power with a rich haul of 88 seats in the 119-member House. It was then perceived that national issues might have overshadowed those of the state if simultaneous elections were held for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly.

In the Lok Sabha poll campaign, TRS told the electorate a win for it would enable Telangana get copious funds and development projects from the Centre. Rao’s focus on national politics led to speculation he would pass over the reins of the government to his son KT Rama Rao but the latter was appointed working president of TRS soon after TRS’ victory in the assembly polls.

It was his fiery oratory and shrewd political moves that helped Rao revive the separate statehood demand and achieve it in the end. Prior to launching the TRS, he began his political career as a Youth Congress leader before joining the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founded by film icon N T Rama Rao in 1983.

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