Hyderabad: Two months ago, on December 29 last year to be precise, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao had declared that he was not interested in national politics and would remain in Telangana till he had made it ‘Bangaru Telangana’.
He had also said at the time that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked him whether he was interested in national politics and he had replied in the negative.
So what has made him announce now that he will plunge into national politics and float a nationwide political front against the BJP and Congress?
There’s more than one reason, according to TRS sources. For one, Chief Minister of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and TDP president, Chandrababu Naidu, seems to have decided to float or lead a national front of non-BJP and non-Congress parties once he has snapped ties with the BJP on account of the injustice done to Andhra Pradesh in implementing the promises made in the bifurcation act.
Mr Naidu has a rich background of associating with several national and regional parties in making and breaking alliances or fronts in the past. He was in the forefront of floating the United Front, taking the support of the Congress party against the BJP, and then later declined to support the Congress and extended support to the BJP. He knows almost every major politician in the country.
K. Chandrashekar Rao wants to upstage him by expressing his interest in national politics before Chandrababu Naidu does so. Though Mr Naidu was in Hyderabad on Saturday, there was no reaction from him on KCR’s new adventurism.
Mr Chandrasekhar Rao is more fluent in Hindi, Urdu and English than he is in his mother tongue Telugu. Being able to speak Hindi is a great asset when dealing with leaders in North India.
By speaking out against the BJP and the Congress — which is his arch rival in Telangana — he wants to consolidate those opposing the BJP as well as those feeling uncomfortable with the central government’s decisions.
His recent remarks against the central government on policies and issues, was part of this new thinking. The Congress party’s failure to get a single seat in Nagaland and Tripura, and its failure to repeat its performance in Meghalaya, forced him to declare his intention to jump into national politics yesterday evening.
However, it is not an easy task to float a Third Front at the national level as three such experiments earlier proved. The Janata Party of 1977, National Front in 1987 and United Front in 1996 all ended in failure. Of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, there are 255 seats in 14 states where it is a fight between the BJP and Congress (in Kerala the fight is between LDF and the UDF led by the Congress). In the remaining 288 seats in 15 states, the fight is among regional parties with national parties being in the fray as well. It is a fitting example of Bahujan Samaj Party versus Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh which has 80 Lok Sabha seats.
It remains to be seen with which parties, and under whose leadership, KCR will float the new front....