KCR Bats for ‘Third Front’ PM, Stalin Says ‘Busy’ With Campaign
KCR has also reached out to Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and DMK’s MK Stalin for support for his ‘third front’.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has purportedly set in motion his plan to field a non-BJP, non-Congress prime ministerial candidate from south India, on the lines of the "1996-formula", sources in the know said.
NDTV quoted sources as saying that KCR had discussed the idea with his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday, 6 May, in a meeting that had praised eyebrows within the political circles.
The “1996 formula” is a reference to political equations in the 1990s, that saw three prime ministers take charge at the head of complex (and unstable) coalitions.
KCR has also reached out to Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and DMK's MK Stalin, who has strongly backed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the top post, the report added.
Is Stalin Not Interested?
The DMK, however, indicated on Tuesday that its party chief, Stalin, may not meet KCR on 13 May, as was announced by the Telangana CM's Office earlier.
Sources close to the DMK President told PTI that Stalin was ‘busy’ with his campaign schedule for the 19 May bypolls to four constituencies in the state and declined to divulge more details.
Rao, who had floated the idea of a non-Congress, non-BJP front some time ago, had met Stalin in April last as part of his outreach to regional parties, with the DMK leader hosting lunch for the visiting TRS supremo and his party colleagues.
However, the Dravidian party later entered into a poll pact with Congress and faced the 18 April Lok Sabha polls in the state in alliance with the national party as part of a mega coalition that also includes the Left.
The DMK's move is perceived as a signal to the Telangana veteran that it was keen to carry on its alliance with the Congress even after the results of the seven-phase polling are out, on 23 May.
Rahul for PM?
Incidentally, it was Stalin who had declared Congress President Rahul Gandhi as the Opposition's Prime Ministerial candidate at a party meeting, though the idea did not find favour with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
While bypolls to 18 Assembly seats were held on 18 April along with the Lok Sabha elections, four others are going to polls on 19 May.
The outcome of the bypolls is crucial for Tamil Nadu as it would determine the continuance of the ruling AIADMK in power.
Therefore, all parties including arch rivals AIADMK and DMK are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that they win maximum seats, even as Stalin has been claiming that the ruling party will lose the elections and pave the way for a new government headed by the DMK.
(With inputs from PTI, NDTV)
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