YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy on Wednesday met with Telangana Rashtra Samithi Working President KT Rama Rao on Wednesday in Hyderabad to discuss forming an alliance to fight the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
“I spoke to KCR [TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao] garu [sir] on the phone and we discussed about the federal front and about the injustice from the Centre to the states,” Reddy was quoted as saying by The News Minute, after the meeting. “If we want that to change, we need to act.”
Rao in December had proposed forming a coalition or “federal front” with “like-minded parties”, free of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress. His party TRS had swept the Telangana elections on December 11, winning 88 of 119 seats.
With the hope of forming a federal front, KCR has so far met with Biju Janata Dal chief and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, on December 23 and held talks with Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee last Thursday.
After the meeting, it was unclear whether the two parties had reached an agreement, after the meeting but Reddy said they would have better bargaining power with the Centre if they stood together.
Reddy gave the example of the Centre’s unfulfilled promise of special status to Andhra Pradesh in this context. “If we look at the MP representation of each state, it is not much, which is why even with 25 MPs in AP when we demanded special status, nothing happened,” he was quoted as saying by The News Minute. “But now with 17 MPs from Telangana joining hands, it will help our case much better and stronger and the Centre cannot ignore it.”
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi had sent out feelers to the YSR Congress last Friday, PTI reported. “Definitely, he [Jaganmohan Reddy] can be our friend and he can sail with us in the larger interest of the country, where KCR has said he is trying to form a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front,” party spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan was quoted as saying by PTI.
Reddy too had expressed similar sentiments, reported NDTV, calling KCR and his party “great friends” of Andhra Pradesh.
Reddy is the Opposition leader in Andhra Pradesh, which is ruled by the Telugu Desam Party and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. The TDP had in December’s Telangana elections tied up with erstwhile rivals the Indian National Congress against KCR’s party but faced a crushing defeat.