Kejriwal to Tikait, KCR carries buzz of fresh alliances to Delhi

The jostling among non-BJP parties for control of Opposition space will see a fresh round this week. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is in Delhi for a hectic three days, during which his officials are trying to line up meetings over the contentious All India Service cadre rule amendments, as well as talks with CM Arvind Kejriwal and BKU leader Rakesh Tikait.

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Rao had earlier opposed the proposed amendments to cadre rules, contending that the existing provisions were adequate to ensure smooth and balanced deployment of officials. He had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the amendments “militate against the federal structure of our Constitution both in letter and spirit”.

With Kejriwal hoping for a Punjab win, which would make him a serious anti-BJP contender, Rao is reportedly hoping to talk to him about an alliance of parties opposed to both the Congress and BJP. The plan though is tentative as of now as Kejriwal is not in Delhi.

Ahead of the Delhi trip, Rao met political strategist Prashant Kishor. As the Opposition waits for the Uttar Pradesh results to declare the contours of the new political scene, Kishor is again the guy presumably helping parties navigate the way forward. A key face in Mamata Banerjee’s team, he also popped up recently in Chennai where DMK leader and CM M K Stalin staged a grand anti-BJP Opposition get-together. Rao skipped the event but had earlier met Stalin.

Banerjee incidentally is set to address a joint rally with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in PM Modi’s Varanasi Lok Sabha seat on March 3. Rumours in Hyderabad are that Rao might join the two, though there was no official confirmation of this.

Last week, the Telangana CM was in Maharashtra to meet counterpart Uddhav Thackeray. In January, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav had come to Hyderabad to meet him. Before that, top CPI and CPM leaders also paid a visit.

While in Delhi, Rao will be inspecting work at a new TRS office under construction in South Delhi, and invite President Ram Nath Kovind for inauguration of the renovated Yadadri temple in Telangana.

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