Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in the state’s Khordha district.
At a joint press conference after the meeting, Rao said talks had begun for “a new front”, the Hindustan Times reported. “We are making efforts to bring like-minded parties together though nothing concrete has come out. We will meet again in the upcoming days,” he said. Rao, also called KCR, recently swept the Telangana elections, bringing his Telangana Rashtra Samithi back to power in the state. After his victory, he had proposed a new alliance, not led by the Congress or Bharatiya Janata Party.
Rao mentioned a possible alliance, while Patnaik said, “We have discussed several things, including further friendship among like-minded parties,” according to The Indian Express. However, Patnaik’s party said the Telangana chief’s visit was just a personal one. Biju Janata Dal spokesperson Sasmit Patra said there was “no political motive behind it”. “It’s a courtesy visit on chief minister Naveen Patnaik,” Hindustan Times reported him as saying.
Rao also said he would support the Odisha leader’s push for women’s reservation in Parliament and the state legislatures.
Later in the day, Rao met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. He said that talks for a “federal front” will continue. “Very shortly we will come out with a concrete plan,” Rao told reporters after meeting, PTI reported. “My efforts for a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance will continue.”
The Telangana chief minister is also expected to meet Uttar Pradesh leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati. Though the two leaders have supported the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Mayawati had refused to tie up with the party ahead of the recently-held elections in five states.
This comes amid reports that Yadav, Mayawati and the Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Chaudhary Ajit Singh are expected to form an alliance, without the Congress, in Uttar Pradesh.