The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Tuesday (May 14) said a federal front of regional parties proposed by its supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is open to taking support from the Congress to form a government at the Centre, as long as they don’t ask for the driver’s seat.
Rao has been pursuing his idea of a federal front of non-Congress, non-BJP regional parties since last year, and TRS spokesman Abid Rasool Khan’s statement that his party is ready to do business with Rahul Gandhi-led outfit is seen as significant, ahead of the Lok Sabha poll results next week. “KCR (as Rao is popularly known as) is very firm that the Federal Front should be in the driver’s seat and run the government,” Khan told PTI. In case the front falls short of numbers to form the government, the option of the Congress supporting it from outside would be explored, he said.
“But, the government would be of the federal front and Congress will have to extend support from outside. We are very firm that regional parties should be in the driver’s seat. The Prime Minister’s post should go to one of the constituents of the Federal Front. The prime ministerial candidate will be a consensus candidate from among the constituents (of the Federal Front)”, Khan said. “We are open to talk to them (Congress), and see whether they support us to form government. If they do, regional parties are not averse as long as they (Congress) don’t come into the driver’s seat”, he said.
However, the proposed Federal Front is not going to align in any way with the BJP, Khan said. “We are averse to the BJP. We do not want to have anything with the BJP, neither to support them or take their support. Most of the constituents speaking with KCR are also of the same opinion that they will not have any truck with the BJP,” he said.
The TRS leader said KCR had taken up an outreach programme to regional parties based on the inputs that they are going to win substantial number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections. He said parties such as the SP, BSP, YSRCP, DMK and TRS would do well in the elections, but the Congress would not cross the 100-seat mark. If the Congress does not win 180-200 seats on its own, its allies like the DMK would see “no fun” in being with it and would come to the Federal Front, Khan said. “JDS will have an upper hand in Karnataka. We have started speaking to Communist parties, expecting they will do well in Kerala and some other places,” he said.