- Regional parties will gain a say in post-poll scenario, KCR said
- Telangana Chief Minister predicted a coalition government in the centre
- BJP won't get power on its own like 2014: KCR
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's efforts for a non-Congress, non-BJP front has not quite taken off. But he is certain that it is the regional parties that would call the shots in the national elections that would begin next week. He also said he was not interested in becoming the Prime Minister.
"Becoming Prime Minister is not my motive. It's not my agenda too. It's not the Prime Ministership that matters," KCR, as Mr Rao is known among supporters, told NDTV's Prannoy Roy.
The 65-year-old, who enjoys huge support in the country's newest state, told NDTV that no single party will form the next government in the country.
"The results (of the elections) will be surprising. I foresee a situation where regional parties have to work together and gain a say in the post-poll scenario... There will be a coalition government at the centre," he told NDTV.
The BJP, he said, won't get power on its own as it did in 2014. "They are bound to lose seats in all the states where they gained last time. It won't be the same game. 2019 will be totally different from 2014," said Mr Rao.
The leader of the statehood movement, who became the state's first Chief Minister in 2014 after its bifurcation from Andhra Pradesh, said the power equation between the national and regional parties have changed.
Earlier, it was the regional parties which used to support the national parties, but the trend is the other way now and it has come to stay, he said, echoing his Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, who is the foremost advocate for the states having the big say in power sharing at the centre.
Still, Mr Rao, said he now wants to form a national party, insisting that there is a need for an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.
"The BJP and the Congress have miserably failed in delivering to the nation," Mr Rao said. "I personally feel there is a vacuum in the country, there is a need for a new alternative. That's why I was proposing to establish a national party if required, with like-minded parties. That will solve the whole problem."
Over the last year, Mr Rao has been meeting various leaders, including Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, support for his non-Congress, non-BJP Third Front. But he has drawn a blank so far.