Both feel Mamata’s actions against CBI are unconstitutional.


Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy are of the view that Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee’s dharna on the issue of CBI attempting to grill the Kolkata police chief, was “unconstitutional” and against the spirit of federalism. Both leaders have not responded to her call to join her protest this week.

With this, the prospects of these two parties, which together can wrest a sizeable number of MPs out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats from both Telangana and Andhra, joining the Opposition sponsored current unity show are zero.

Technically, now they are not with the BJP-led NDA, but the available trends suggest their inclination to back a PM Narendra Modi led coalition after the polls.

YSR Congress MP Y.V. Subba Reddy told a media conference in Hyderabad on Friday that Mamata Banerjee should not have protested the CBI officers’ presence at the Kolkata police commissioner’s house as part of their duty. By preventing the CBI officials from grilling the Kolkata police chief, the CM appeared to be trying to hide something from the public, felt Subba Reddy.

The YSR Congress MP who is a close confidant of Jagan said that stalling probes by Central investigating agencies like CBI was not the meaning of federalism, but goes against the spirit of the Constitution. Reddy objected to some states, including Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, withdrawing their consent to the CBI to take up cases.

Subba Reddy ridiculed AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s dharna in Delhi on Monday as a gimmick and intended to divert public attention from the failures of his government in the last five years. The dharna supposed to be an expression of protest against the Centre for not granting special status to Andhra was a cover up as Naidu himself had given up the demand for the last four years, said Reddy.

KCR, who met Mamata Banerjee twice in the last few months, has remained silent to her invitation to Kolkata, but sources close to him told this newspaper that the Bengal Chief Minister sitting on the street for three days in protest against the CBI officials trying to question a police officer of the state was “highly unwarranted” and “misplaced anger” against the Centre. The Supreme Court order had vindicated their stand, he said.

KCR is learnt to have told his party leaders that the federal front should not be seen as a gathering of political parties opposed to the powers of the Central government in total, but it was a just platform to highlight the rights of the states within the frame of the Constitution. “Didi’s act of sitting on the streets to stall a CBI probe is not in the right spirit,” said TRS MP A.P. Jithender Reddy.

Both Jagan and KCR are understood to have been peeved at the presence of their bete-noir Andhra Pradesh CM in Kolkata. This is the reason why they had kept away from the 19 January rally of the Opposition parties too. For the 19 January rally, Mamata Banerjee had personally called up both KCR and Jagan, but they had excused themselves on other reasons.

Not only Naidu’s presence, but also that of Congress president Rahul Gandhi at these Opposition meetings is an anathema to both KCR and Jagan. On the other hand, both KCR and Jagan have decided to work and walk together in national politics, especially in the post-poll scenario. They are unlikely to join any other meetings of Opposition parties in the coming days.