Telangana Rastra Samithi supremo and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is on a mission to build secular front at the national level, is likely to skip the Opposition rally in Kolkata proposed for January 19. The reason that the TRS ranks cite is that KCR is not ready to share the dais with any Congress and BJP leaders. The TRS chief’s intention is to have his secular front as an alternative to the Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA ahead of the next round of general elections.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Benerji had proposed this rally of all anti-BJP forces in the country and had sent invitations. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is attending the rally taking lead in building anti-BJP politics in the country. Though there were differences between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress initially, Mamata Benerji is said to have realised that they can’t build an opposition to the BJP with just three months left for the elections.
Mamata wanted to be the Prime Minister candidate of the anti-BJP forces. But there is no consensus built on this issue as Rahul Gandhi is in the forefront of the race while Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati too had joined the race. It is in this backdrop, Mamata had decided to keep this issue aside for the time being and go ahead with the plans to build a strong anti-BJP team, by including the Congress in it.
The decision of Mamata to have Congress along seems to be the reason for KCR to decide against attending the rally. The Biju Janata Dal president and Odisha chief minister Navin Patnaik too had announced that he would prefer a non-Congress and non-BJP front at the national level. He also declared that he would not attend the non-BJP rally at Kolkata as the Congress is part of it. This statement had come handy for KCR to skip this rally, even though he tried to have Mamata Benerji in his secular front. KCR had met Mamata twice, once before the Telangana elections and second time on December 23, after his re-election.