TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who is working towards forming a Federal Front, on Sunday said there was a dire need for unification of regional parties to provide an alternative to the Congress and the BJP ahead of the 2019 elections. Mr Rao met his Odisha counterpart and BJD president Naveen Patnaik for 20 minutes after which they briefed the media. Mr Rao and Mr Patnaik said they would take their friendship further. He will next meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Replying to a question with regard to the outcome of the talks, Mr Rao said, “It’s certain that the country needs a change. We are making our efforts. Nothing concrete has emerged so far. I think something will emerge.”
Stressing the need to bring about a qualitative change in national politics by uniting regional parties, Mr Rao said that the TRS was working towards that target.
Mr Rao said, “I can say certainly that there is a dire need for unification of regional parties in the country. We strongly believe that there has to be an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.”
Mr Patnaik said, “We are indeed regional parties. We discussed several things, including further friendship among like-minded parties.”
Reminding that the Congress was terming the TRS the B team of the BJP while BJP president Amit Shah alleged that the party was the B team of the Congress, Mr Rao said, “We don’t have any B team, we have our own team.”
Replying to a question if the BJD and TRS would have an understanding for the 2019 polls, Mr Patnaik said, “For the Parliament elections, we have not thought that far.”
Mr Rao arrived at 6.05 pm at Naveen Niwas, the Odisha’s CM’s residence. The two Chief Ministers had a detailed discussion on national issues including the need for better friendship among the regional parties.
After the meeting with Mr Patnaik, Mr Rao left for the Trident Hotel where he will stay. He will visit Sun Temple at Konark and Jagannath temple at Puri with his family on Monday.
From Puri, Mr Rao will travel to Kolkata where he will offer prayers at Kali Matha temple and then meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. From Kolkata, he will fly to New Delhi on Tuesday to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BSP chief Mayawati, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and other political leaders.