This Article is From Feb 16, 2022

Uddhav Thackeray's Praise For KCR, Sunday Lunch As He Rallies BJP Rivals

The Maharashtra Chief Minister this morning called KCR and invited him to lunch in Mumbai on Sunday (February 20), his office said

Uddhav Thackeray's Praise For KCR, Sunday Lunch As He Rallies BJP Rivals

Telangana Chief Minister KCR has been invited to lunch by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

New Delhi:

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao, who has been rallying opposition forces against the BJP ahead of the 2024 election, has a lunch date with his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray.

The Maharashtra Chief Minister this morning called Mr Rao, or KCR, and invited him to lunch in Mumbai on Sunday (February 20), his office said.

KCR's office said Mr Thackeray had told him: "You are doing good work. Keep it up. Hum aapke saath hain (we are with you)."

Mr Thackeray announced "complete support" to "KCR's fight against the BJP's alleged anti-people policies and to uphold the federal spirit", said the Chief Minister's office.

Mr Thackeray also gave a shout-out to KCR for "raising his voice at the right time to protect the nation from divisive forces".

KCR has been working the phones and meeting various opposition leaders in his mission 2024 to gather anti-BJP forces. Last week, the Chief Minister had shared plans to fly to Mumbai to meet with Mr Thackeray, whose Shiv Sena had an acrimonious break-up with the BJP in 2019 after decades of partnership.

Yesterday, KCR received backing from former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda.

Mr Gowda called him and expressed full support from his Janata Dal (Secular) for the fight against "communal" forces, sources in the Chief Minister's Office told NDTV.

KCR told Mr Gowda that he would meet him in Bengaluru.

Over the past few weeks, Mr Rao has been all booked up with meetings with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, among others.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also said she will visit Hyderabad.

Ms Banerjee is already planning to bring together Chief Ministers of Opposition-ruled states over the alleged "misuse of power by the Governors". She spoke with KCR on the phone.

KCR, who has always fought the label of the BJP's "B-team" and whose Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has backed the ruling party on key legislation in parliament, has dramatically scaled up his attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier this month, when PM Modi visited Hyderabad for the launch of a statue of Saint Ramanujacharya, KCR sneered that the Prime Minister "dresses for elections" and his budget is all "style without substance".

"If it is election time, he has to grow a beard and appear like Rabindranath Tagore. Arrey baap re. If it is Tamil Nadu, he must wear a lungi (sic), what is this?...What does the country get With these kind of gimmicks, what does the country get? If it is the Punjab election, he will wear a pagdi (turban). In Manipur, it will be a Manipuri cap, in Uttarakhand, it will be another topi (cap), how many caps like this?" he told reporters.

Sources say KCR has amped up his attacks on the BJP apprehending that Telangana, which votes in 2023, will be the party's next target. The TRS is worried that the BJP has been making inroads in the state, edging out the Congress in its previous strongholds.

KCR is also seen to have national ambitions, although he told reporters recently he was not aiming for the PM's post.