Political leaders such as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi have backed Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s proposal for a Third Front ahead of the 2019 General Elections, PTI reported.
“Since morning, I have been receiving many calls from various places in India,” Rao said on Sunday. “Today afternoon, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called me and said I made the right decision and she will be supporting me.”
Soren said he would speak to others and meet him soon to discuss the matter, Rao told a crowd gathered at his house in Hyderabad. Owaisi, too, welcomed the chief minister’s statement, saying he had correctly pointed out that people are fed up with the Bharatiya Janata Party and that the Congress was not a viable alternative.
The leader of the Jana Sena, Pawan Kalyan also came out in support of Rao’s proposal, The New Indian Express reported. “It has been the topic of discussion and debate among parties, societies and individuals for some time now,” Kalyan told reporters on Sunday. “I and my party Jana Sena also strongly feel the need for another alternative comprising regional parties, since national parties are not sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the regions.”
Both Kalyan and Owaisi praised Rao’s leadership credentials and said he has the ability stitch together the Third Front. “For a decade and a half, he proved himself to be an able leader and led a mass movement,” Kalyan said. “Without shedding a drop of blood, he succeeded in attaining statehood for Telangana. He has extensive contacts and national perspective.”
Owaisi said Rao’s governance of Telangana had been exemplary.
On Monday, Rao’s office said the chief minister was working on a plan to conduct a series of meetings with interested organisations and individuals across India, ANI reported.