KCR has virtually given up plans of a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s son and state IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao in New Delhi on Wednesday amid speculation that the BJP top brass is wooing TRS to join the NDA before the general elections. KTR’s one-on-one discussions with Narendra Modi come within 12 days of his father meeting the Prime Minister on 15 June.

The ease with which KTR managed an appointment with the PM has raised eyebrows as neighbouring Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan’s similar requests were denied.

CM Naidu tried to meet the PM during the Niti Aayog Governing Council meet on 17 June, but he was not able to secure an appointment. But KCR not only met the PM but also submitted a 10-point memorandum and got a positive response from the latter.

While responding to issues regarding sanctioning a steel plant at Bayyaram in Telangana, the PM asked the CM to prepare a detailed note.

KTR prepared the note and met the PM on Wednesday. KTR in the meeting sought the Centre’s assistance to set up a steel plant at Bayyaram in Khammam district as per an assurance given in the State Reorganisation Act.

Like in the case of a similar demand for a steel plant at Kadapa in Andhra, Mecon, a public sector consultancy, rejected the proposal saying that the ore available in Telangana was of inferior quality and that the plant may not be feasible commercially. A couple of days after KTR’s meeting, six TDP MPs tried to call on the PM and submit a memorandum regarding the proposed steel plant at Kadapa, but they were not given an appointment despite the fact that TDP’s Rajya Sabha MP C.M. Ramesh was on a fast-unto-death over it. The TDP MPs have openly alleged that they are being discriminated against by the PM.

The TRS leaders are viewing the kind treatment they have received as a sign of BJP’s keenness to rope TRS into the NDA fold before the general elections.

As of now, TRS is not inclined to join the NDA for the fear of losing Muslim votes. But with KCR having almost dropped his plans for a federal front without the BJP and the Congress, the TRS might be open to BJP’s overtures.

“Things will be crystallised in the next few weeks when we will get clarity on whether, or not, the polls will be advanced,” said TRS MP A.P. Jithender Reddy.

 

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