The crushing defeat of non-NDA parties in Lok Sabha elections shattered the dreams of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who was looking to play a key role at the Centre. The results came as a huge blow to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief who was working to cobble up a “Federal Front” to form a non-BJP, non-Congress government at the Centre.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, was even being seen as the potential prime ministerial candidate by his party in the event of regional parties emerging as a major bloc in the Lok Sabha. What is more shocking for KCR is that his party could not achieve the goal of making a clean sweep in Telangana. KCR’s party was aiming to win 16 seats leaving Hyderabad for its ally All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). Both the BJP and the Congress dealt a blow to the TRS’ plans as they were together ahead in seven constituencies. KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha failed to retain her Nizamabad seat. She was one of the 11 MPs of the TRS in previous Lok Sabha.
The outcome is shocking for the TRS as it came barely six months after it retained power in Telangana with a landslide victory, winning 88 seats in 119-member Assembly. It was after this huge win that KCR had revived his plans for Federal Front by meeting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who head the Trinamool Congress and the Biju Janata Dal, respectively. A few days ago, the TRS chief stepped up his efforts by holding talks with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, of the Communist Party of India-Marxist, and DMK leader M.K. Stalin.
It was in March last year KCR had who proposed the Federal Front to bring what he called a qualitative change in national politics. He had held series of meetings with leaders of various non-NDA parties. After the massive victory in Assembly elections, KCR had appointed his son K. T. Rama Rao as the Working President of the TRS so that he can focus on national politics. This was also seen as an attempt to pave way for Rama Rao to take over as Chief Minister in the event of KCR moving to Delhi. In 2014, the TRS had won 11 Lok Sabha seats while Congress had bagged two. The BJP, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the AIMIM had won a seat each. The MPs of the YSRCP and the TDP and one of the two MPs of Congress had later switched loyalties to the TRS.