KCR Dilemma: Mamata line or Stalin’s?

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao

Rama Krishna Sangem

TRS chief and Telangana CM KCR now faces a dilemma – whether to accept Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s line or that of Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin on Congress.

KCR is now active in bringing together all regional parties to take on the BJP led Centre on the issue of federalism. In the last few days, he mentioned this issue in two public meetings and addressed a media conference specifically on this issue. He spoke to Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu CM and DMK chief MK Stalin.

KCR also is in touch with Shiv Sena chief and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackery too. He may get in touch with NCP boss Sharad Pawar sometime later. If these leaders arrange a conclave on any issue of national importance and on the role of states, many more regional parties will join them and this group will become stronger.

So far so good, but the real problem before him now the divergent views expressed on the role of Congress in this regional and non-BJP parties camp. Mamata is vehemently opposed to any space for Congress in this new grouping, while Stalin thinks otherwise. Currently, Stalin heads a government of DMK and Congress alliance. Though a smaller partner, Congress is a force in Tamil Nadu.

It’s an open secret that in Tamil Nadu, both DMK and AIADMK need the backing of a national party – either Congress or BJP, besides some local parties. Narrow vote share by 3 or 4 per cent will tilt the scales. Congress still commands 6 plus per cent votes share in Tamil Nadu. So, Stalin may not drop Congress at this stage.

Mamata thinks otherwise. She is of the view that TMC will grow all over the country at the cost of Congress. She followed the strategy in Goa. Many former Congress leaders have joined TMC and contesting on its tickets. Even in Bengal, Congress is closer to the Left camp. The Left camp led by CPI(M) is an opposition to her.

Uddhav also heads a government in which Congress is a partner. He cannot avoid Congress now and join a regional parties’ camp. RJD is another Congress ally in Bihar. Tejaswi Yadav made it clear that Congress is integral to any non-BJP alternative at the Centre. So, KCR has to choose between the lines of Mamata and Stalin.

KCR faces both Congress and BJP as main rivals in Telangana. So, he cannot afford to sit with Congress at the local level. But, he won’t mind sharing the dais with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi in a gathering of opposition leaders. KCR is confident of defeating Congress in Telangana and can also take help of the party at the national level in a post-poll scenario, if necessary.

As we mentioned many times recently, the outcome of UP elections by March 10 will decide the next steps of these non-BJP regional parties.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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