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K Chandrasekhar Rao, Naveen Patnaik to meet on the possibility of a non-BJP, non-Congress third front

Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will meet his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik in the first week of May to explore the feasibility of forming a non-BJP, non-Congress front before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, an official statement said on Tuesday. The meeting between Rao, who heads Telangana’s ruling party Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and Patnaik, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief, would take place in Bhubaneshwar.

File photo of Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. AFP

Owing to the Odisha assembly currently being in session, it has been decided to hold consultations until next May, the release said.

In his bid to cobble together a front of like-minded non-BJP and non-Congress parties, Rao had met West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata in March. He had also held consultations with former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular) boss H D Deve Gowda as per his plans to forge an alternative front.

The TRS leader, however, had failed to secure a firm commitment from Banerjee, who heads the Trinamool Congress, about her willingness to keep the Congress out of the proposed alliance.

On her part, Banerjee had held consultations with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar and Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha MP of the BJP’s estranged ally Shiv Sena, to discuss ways to forge an anti-BJP front at the national level.

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