“Everyone Meeting Mamata Banerjee,” Says Her Party As KCR Comes Calling


Hours before Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao takes a special flight to Kolkata to meet his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, her party has stated it is all but “natural” that everyone wants to meet her. “When we are looking at 2019, don’t be surprised. Obviously, everyone needs to listen to her, share their thoughts with her. This is but natural,” senior Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien told NDTV.

On Sunday, K Chandrashekar Rao or KCR as he is commonly known stepped up his campaign to cobble up a non-BJP, non-Congress federal front with a visit to Bhubaneswar where he met his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik.

Mr. Rao, 64, has hired a particular aircraft for a month for his mission “federal front”. His tour through various states will involve visits to shrines, besides meetings with top opposition leaders for a non-BJP, non-Congress alliance. The meetings with Mr. Patnaik and Ms. Banerjee are a region of the first phase of his project.

“Mamata Banerjee is one of the senior politicians in the country, everybody is talking to her. Don’t be surprised,” Mr. O’Brien said.

KCR had met Ms. Banerjee in Kolkata in March as well, soon after he stated he was keen to participate in national politics to bring about “qualitative changes” in governance. She had confirmed him that they could work together. “Sometimes in politics, situations become such that people have to come together to work… We want a strong front but we are not in a hurry,” Ms. Banerjee had said in March.

After meeting Ms. Banerjee, KCR will offer prayers at Kolkata’s Kalighat temple. He is anticipated to reach Delhi at night.

Mr. Rao will stay in the capital for the next few days during which he is wanted to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Meetings with former Uttar Pradesh chief ministers Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav are also on his itinerary.

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