SP president Akhilesh Yadav praises K Chandrashekar Rao's efforts

But while Mr Yadav postponed the meeting, the BSP was yet to get back to the TRS leader.

New Delhi: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s quest for a “non-Congress, non-BJP” Federal Front remained elusive Wednesday, with key parties like the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party evading a meeting with him on his visit to New Delhi.

The squeamishness of both regional satraps to take the anti-Congress plunge could possibly be linked to a resurgent Congress that has added three key states of the Hindi heartland to its kitty, making it a serious contender to lead any Opposition alliance in the run-up to 2019.

Mr Rao had recently met Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik and Trinamul supremo Mamata Banerjee soon after being sworn in for a second term as Chief Minister.

Sources in the TRS had indicated that as a follow-up to his meetings with Mr Patnaik and Ms Banerjee, Mr Rao had sought to meet SP president Akhilesh Yadav and BSP supremo Mayawati on December 25-26 to take forward his proposal of a Federal Front. But while Mr Yadav postponed the meeting, the BSP was yet to get back to the TRS leader.

Speaking to the media in Lucknow, the SP chief said, “Efforts to bring all parties together have been ongoing for many months. I congratulate the Telangana CM for working in this direction. He has been trying to bring together a Federal Front. I will go to Hyderabad to meet him after January 6.”

The BSP chief, however, chose to remain silent. Both parties are looking at a tieup in Uttar Pradesh and are unlikely to take separate stands.

Top leaders of the Congress have said that the Telangana CM is along with BJD chief Naveen Patnaik the fallback option of the BJP in case it falls short of the magic number in the 2019 general election. The recent letter by a party functionary to the RSS in support of Union minister Nitin Gadkari as a PM probable can be seen in that frame as neither Mr Patnaik nor Mr Rao would be averse to supporting him.

However, Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee’s problem is different. The West Bengal CM has an issue with the Congress leading an Opposition alliance as this would mean Rahul Gandhi getting a shot at being the PM, a position which she fancies for herself. Hence her warming up to KCR’s idea of a Federal Front.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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