After Odisha CM, Telangana CM Meets Mamata

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Kolkata: Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao meets West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday at Nabanna for Non BJP, Non Cong front.

The two had met earlier in March, when the Telangana Chief Minister came to Kolkata. KCR, as Mr Rao is known among his supporters, came to Kolkata this morning after meeting Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Mr Rao, who has stepped up his campaign for a Federal Front following his landslide victory in Assembly elections, came to Kolkata this morning.

He had spent the last night in Bhubaneshwar after an evening’s discussions with Naveen Patnaik. The Odisha Chief Minister, though, is yet to commit to his participation in a Federal Front

A similar line was taken by the Trinamool Congress of Ms Banerjee, who, sources say, is interested in forming a pan-India alliance of regional parties to have more leverage in bargaining with the Congress.

“Mamata Banerjee is a seven-time MP, two-term Chief Minister, three-time cabinet minister. With 40 years of accomplishments, courage, all this is but natural… Everyone wants to listen to her, share their thoughts with her,” said senior Trinamool lawmaker Derek O’Brien. “Looking at 2019, don’t be surprised,” he added.

Ms Banerjee — a vocal supporter of a larger role for regional parties on the national stage – has been one of the earliest proponents of a combined opposition front to take on the BJP in next year’s national elections. Since last year, she has met a string of opposition leaders including Sharad Pawar, Arvind Kejriwal and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. On Friday, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah met her in Kolkata.