Prof Nageshwar – Is KCR’s federal front on the Back Burner


Despite loud claims of forming a non-Congress , non-BJP Third Front , the Telangana chief minister and TRS supremo seems to be rethinking on the Third Front. His recent actions strengthen such speculation . Telangana kept itself away from the South Indian finance ministers meet convened by Kerala finance minister. This meet was aimed at expressing the concerns of South Indian states over the manner in which centre is allocating resources. The South Indian states are complaining that they will be losing heavily as the 15th Finance Commission is taking 2011 census as the basis instead of 1971 population data for formulating the scheme for central transfers to states.

The sources in Telangana government say that the state is not going to lose due to the terms of reference of 15th Finance Commission .

But, the TRS that vows to form a federal front cannot be oblivious to the concerns being expressed by other states. As KCR had put it , the most important policy agenda for such a federal front is to fight for radical restructuring of Centre-State financial relations. Though KCR may not agree with North-South divide, he could have sent his finance minister to Kerala meet at least to voice his version of fiscal federalism.

Therefore, there , perhaps , be much deeper reason for TRS government skipping the meet of the opposition sponsored South Indian meet. The AIADMK government also did not participate in the meeting. The AIADMK is an undeclared ally of BJP and has not supported the no confidence motion. Similarly, the TRS was ambiguous on its stand on no confidence motion . The TRS also joined AIADMK to create disorder in the house to facilitate the BJP to escape the scrutiny of Parliament through no confidence motion. However, as the criticism mounted, the TRs withdrew from its protests .

Meanwhile, the TRS supremo has also planned for a massive public meeting on the eve of the party plenary to unveil his federal front. Leaders of several regional parties and smaller parties that would be the constituents of such a third front were also expected to join the meeting. But, the latest reports indicate that such an exercise may not be there. Reports further indicate that KCR has also postponed his plans to visit several Indian metros to garner support for his idea of third or Federal Front and formulate an appropriate agenda for such a front.

There are specific reasons for KCR’s dilemma. He is finding it difficult to find parties that would strictly be against Congress and the BJP. The parties that expressed enthusiasm at KCR’s idea like the TMC and JMM are not ready to completely give up friendship with Congress. The CPI(M) is , perhaps, the only party that has announced its opposition to both Congress and BJP . Yet, the CPI(M) too called for the defeat of BJP and appealed to vote anyone who has the strength to defeat BJP in Karnataka. This tantamounts to voting for Congress as it is the only party capable of defeating BJP in majority of the constituencies in Karnataka, though the Left may not agree. Meanwhile , the CPI(M) is not ready to ally with TRS in the state.

Thus, the TRS supremo may be wary of the success of such federal front proposal at this point of time.

Besides, any consolidation of political forces against BJP would only benefit congress which is his principal adversary . Thus, KCR is not ready for any political action that can prove to be beneficial for his arch rival Congress as the BJP is not a force to reckon with in Telangana .

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