K Chandrashekhar Rao and HD Kumaraswamy (credit: Republic and Wikipedia)
Will Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) side with the Congress in the event of a fractured mandate in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections? Contrary to the speculations that he would extend his party’s (Telangana Rashtriya Samiti) support to the NDA, in case the BJP-led coalition falls short of majority, KCR is reportedly seeking to mend ties with the Congress that leads the UPA.
According to The New Indian Express, KCR has had a hush-hush conversation with Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and sought his help to forge an alliance with the Congress, which is the coalition partner with Kumaraswamy’s JDS in the state.
In a quid pro quo, KCR is believed to have promised the stability of JDS-Congress government in Karnataka.
Along with the MPs from his party, KCR is also reported to have offered the support of the parliamentarians from Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party in Andhra Pradesh.
KCR has already met with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and tried to approach DMK chief MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu in a bid to forge a federal front. In the meanwhile, his confidant and sitting TRS MP from Karimnagar has reportedly said that the Lok Sabha elections would end up in propping up a United Front like government (led by regional parties and supported by the Congress).
The supposed conversation between KCR and Kumaraswamy comes at a time when local media in Karnataka are speculating intensely about the longevity of JDS-Congress government in the state post May 23, the result day.
It is believed that the Congress with 80 MLAs has let the JDS (which has 38 MLAs) lead the government, only to prevent the BJP from winning a significant number of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.