Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday said that he and his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray want to fight against injustice and that the two leaders had made a “good start” towards this, NDTV reported.
Rao made the statement after meeting Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai. The meeting took place in the context of recent efforts by regional parties to form a federal front against the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“We want to fight against injustice and the misuse of laws,” Rao told reporters. “We want to fight for democracy. The meeting with [Thackeray] is a good message and a good start.”
The Telangana chief minister said that he and Thackeray are “like brothers” and noted that the two states share a border of about 1,000 km. “With the cooperation of the Maharashtra government, we could complete the excellent Kaleshwaram [irrigation] project which changed Telangana’s fortune,” Rao told reporters. “We want to maintain this friendship with Maharashtra in the future.”
Rao said that there needed to be a “big change” in the manner in which the country is being run and that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi will also speak to other regional parties about this, The Hindu reported. He alleged that the Union government was misusing central agencies, and said that this was “highly condemnable”.
The Telangana chief minister extended an invitation to Thackeray to visit Hyderabad soon. He added that leaders from the Opposition will hold a meeting either in Hyderabad or another city to decide a way forward.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut said that the meeting between Rao and Thackeray was “extremely important” in terms of creating an alternative to the BJP, The Print reported. “On one hand, there is West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, in Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav is holding fort well,” Raut said. “If all these leaders come together and fight polls on a common programme, a political revolution is inevitable.”
The Shiv Sena MP said that his party will be at the forefront of such a revolution. “When nobody expected it, we showed that it is possible in Maharashtra, and the experiment in Maharashtra is also running very well,” he said. “People see Uddhav ji as a strong political face capable of delivering good governance...”
In the recent past, several regional leaders have spoken about the need for holding a meeting to discuss a common strategy to take on the BJP.
Last week, Banerjee said that she spoke to Rao and her Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin in connection with a proposed meeting of chief ministers of Opposition-ruled states.
However, Banerjee added that the Congress “can go its own way” and claimed that no regional party shared cordial relations with it.
On February 13, Stalin had said that Banerjee had called him to express “concern and anguish on the Constitutional overstepping and brazen misuse of power by the governors of non-BJP ruled states”.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister said that he assured her of the commitment of his party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, to uphold state autonomy. He stated that a convention of chief ministers of non-BJP states will be held soon.