- The tour will begin from December 23
- It will involve visits to shrines and meetings with opposition leaders
- The federal front has got positive response from Mamata Banerjee
After his return to power in Telangana with an impressive majority, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao is ready with a plan for his next project -- the federal front. Beginning December 23, his month-long tour through several states will involve visits to shrines, besides meetings with top opposition leaders for a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance.
Even as he is trying to forge political relationships outside Telangana, he is demolishing the opposition in the state. Four members of the legislative council jumped to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Friday. In March, when the term of one more Congress MLC ends, there will not even be token opposition left in the council. The legislative assembly also seems headed the same way.
In the first phase of his tour, KCR, as he is popularly known as, will be visiting Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Delhi along with his family over the next week. They will fly from Begumpet airport on Sunday morning to Visakhapatnam, where the group will visit Sringeri Sharada Peetham and pray at Rajasyamala temple. KCR will also seek blessings of Swami Swaroopanandendra and lunch at the ashram.
The next stop will be Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar, where a meeting has been fixed with Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik. The Raos will stay the night at the official home of the chief minister.
The Monday morning's plan features a visit to the Konark Temple and Jagannath Temple and back to Bhubaneswar for lunch.
From Bhubaneshwar, a special flight will take the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president to Kolkata. Following a meeting with his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, he will offer prayers at Kalighat temple. He will reach Delhi in the night.
The federal front -- where YSR Congress could take the space of a facilitator, like Chandrababu Naidu in the proposed Grand Alliance -- has got positive response from Mamata Banerjee, who is interested in forming an alliance of regional parties to leverage better bargaining power with the Congress, sources said.
Mr Rao will stay in the national capital for the next few days during which he is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A meet-and-greet with former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav is also part of the itinerary.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati recently had a falling out with the Congress during assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, where she accused the party of trying to finish the BSP by offering it less seats.
Mayawati's party contested the state elections against the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, but she later extended support to the Congress in Madhya Pradesh where it was short of a majority.
Mayawati did it, she said, to keep the BJP at bay.
Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party had contested the UP state polls in alliance with the Congress last year and badly lost to the BJP.