Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. Photo: AP
Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. Photo: AP

K. Chandrashekhar Rao plans series of meetings in bid to float a third front

K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who is chief minister of Telangana, may meet retired Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Revenue Service officers

Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who last week proposed a non-Congress, non-Bharatiya Janata Party third front and also offered to lead it, on Monday said he planned to hold a series of consultative meetings with various organizations, associations and individuals across the country to take the process forward.

To begin with, Rao, who is leader of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), will meet retired Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Revenue Service officers.

He has also expressed interest in meeting retired defence personnel and officers in the coming days.

The Telangana chief minister had called for a “qualitative change in politics" while speaking at a press conference last week and said he was ready to lead a non-Congress and non-BJP third front, after censuring the Centre for ‘not cooperating’.

“As these retired officers have seen political developments closely at state and all India level, meeting with them will be highly useful, felt the chief minister," a press release from Rao’s office said, adding that the chief minister will also meet farmers’ associations, advocates, and even employees’ associations from different states.

“Brisk work is going on to organize these meetings and lists of various organizations as detailed above are being collected. The idea of Chief Minister is that all those who have been thinking about the nation in various ways are to be made participants in the process of qualitative change in politics," the release said, adding that Ajit Pramod Kumar Jogi, leader of the Janata Congress Chattisgarh, had telephoned Rao and expressed interest in joining him.

Prior to this, Rao’s office had claimed that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren had also welcomed the TRS leader’s decision to play a key role in national politics.

Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP from the All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, also welcomed Rao’s decision on Sunday, after Rao made his views on leading the third front public a day earlier.

“All this is just drama. His statements have no value and will only give us more reasons to question him. Without even fulfilling the promises made in the last elections, he wants to move to national politics," said A. Rakesh Reddy, BJP’s spokesperson from Telanagana.

Political analyst from Hyderabad Palwai Raghavendra Reddy said Rao was trying to tell the public that he was confident of winning in the state and wanted to move on to national politics.

“The CM is trying to show he is strong in the state. Even if he wins 15 out of 17 parliamentary seats, there are other states that have more influence than Telangana. The Trinamool Congress has stakes in a handful of states and many more MPs as an example," Palwai Reddy pointed out.