Hyderabad: The Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state are both keen to play a greater role in national politics and are busy forging alliances or getting the support of other regional parties.
But it seems in this, AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has scored points over his rival Telangana state Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, as Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has chosen to support Mr Naidu.
Mr Rao went all the way to Bhubaneswar to get the support of Mr Patnaik for his proposed Federal Front against both the BJP and Congress. But 24 hours later, Mr Patnaik sent a letter to Mr Naidu through his representative, Member of Parliament Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, saying that his party, the Biju Janata Dal, is in favour of a non-BJP government in 2019.
Mr Patnaik has been maintaining his distance from both the BJP and Congress. Mr Ranjan Patnaik said, “Both the BJP and the Congress have faults, AP CM Naidu’s policy is to choose the party which has less faults, and the Biju Janata Dal has the same policy as Mr Naidu.”
The main drawback for Mr Rao is that there is some suspicion that his efforts to form the Federal Front are intended to save Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the ensuing general election. The main opposition parties believe this.
Though Mr Rao has denied this several times, the suspicion continues to dog him. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is taking advantage of this to urge regional parties to keep away from Mr Rao’s proposed Federal Front. The Congress, Telugu Desam and Left parties all believe that Mr Rao’s Federal Front will be floated to save Mr Modi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also has doubts about Mr Rao and has her own plans regarding national politics. There was a marked difference in her attitude to Mr Rao when they met in March 2017, and when they met three days ago, on December 24, when she did not say a word at the press meet with Mr Rao.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister is not losing any opportunity to blame and defame K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s attempts at playing a role in national politics. Commenting on Mr Rao’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in Delhi, Mr Naidu questioned whether “Mr Rao was meeting Mr Modi to discuss the state’s problems or to ‘brief’ him.”
He added that “While Mr Rao is meeting political parties to gather support for his proposed anti-BJP and anti-Congress Federal Front, what is his purpose of meeting the Prime Minister?”...