Hyderabad: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann called on his Telangana counterpart K. Chandrashekar Rao in Hyderabad Tuesday in what is being seen as a sign of a growing partnership between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) — the two parties with national ambitions up against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
The meeting came in the backdrop of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) naming KCR’s MLC daughter, K. Kavitha, in its chargesheet in the alleged Delhi excise policy scam. Though KCR’s office said the two chief ministers discussed ‘national politics’, the AAP downplayed the meeting, calling it a “courtesy” visit and insisting that there was “nothing political” about it.
Mann was on a two-day visit to Chennai and Hyderabad where he met business leaders to attract investments for his state. While he was in Hyderabad, Mann called on KCR at the latter’s office-cum-residence, Pragati Bhavan, where he received a warm welcome.
A statement from KCR’s office said that the two discussed the political situation in the country, along with issues of governance in Telangana and Punjab. Mann also congratulated KCR for the formation of his renamed national party, the BRS, the statement added.
Burra Ramu Goud, a member of the Telangana AAP core committee, told ThePrint that the interaction was “more like a meeting between one government and the other”.
“And with the same courtesy he (Mann) may have congratulated KCR for BRS launch and there could have been related political talks but no major political discussions. This is just an official courtesy meeting. In fact, last month the party (AAP) had a national committee meeting where we discussed clearly how AAP has to go all out in all states and is not interested in any alliances,” said Goud.
Adding, “Just like how AAP won in Delhi and Punjab, we want to do the same in other states too.”
ਆਪਣੀ ਹੈਦਰਾਬਾਦ ਫੇਰੀ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਅੱਜ ਤੇਲੰਗਾਨਾ ਦੇ CM K. Chandrashekar Rao ਜੀ ਨਾਲ ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਰਿਹਾਇਸ਼ ਵਿਖੇ ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤ ਕੀਤੀ…ਉਹਨਾਂ ਦੀ ਟੀਮ ਨਾਲ ਵੀ ਮੁਲਾਕਾਤ ਹੋਈ…ਸੂਬੇ ਦੇ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਮਾਡਲ ਨੂੰ ਲੈਕੇ ਵਿਸਥਾਰਤ ਚਰਚਾ ਹੋਈ…
ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਤੇਲੰਗਾਨਾ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਨਿੱਘੇ ਸਵਾਗਤ ਲਈ ਧੰਨਵਾਦ… pic.twitter.com/HJ9CyonEJC
— Bhagwant Mann (@BhagwantMann) December 20, 2022
Another senior leader from the Telangana AAP, who met Mann post his meeting with KCR, maintained that the two leaders held no discussions on the BRS and the AAP extending political support to each other.
“Chief Minister (Mann) told us that there were cordial discussions on governance, investments but no major political discussions. Definitely, nothing was discussed about supporting BRS or so. AAP is in no way thinking about it; it is not (Delhi CM) Arvind Kejriwal’s style to prefer alliances,” the leader told ThePrint on condition of anonymity.
Telangana AAP core committee member Diddi Sudhakar added that it was a “minimum courtesy” for Mann to meet his counterpart in Telangana. “Also because they’ve met in the past in Punjab and KCR had distributed cash assistance to farmers’ families (kin of farmers who died in the year-long stir) in the state, so that is also a reason to maintain cordial relations.”
However, a BRS MLA who attended the meeting and did not wish to be named, claimed the two chief ministers did discuss political developments. Mann and KCR talked about how they can fight the BJP which is their common political adversary, said the leader.
The BRS, called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) until last month, is aggressively planning its expansion post-Christmas. The party plans to launch a Kisaan (farmer) cell in six states, including Punjab, by the end of December.
In addition, the party also plans to hoist its flags in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Odisha, besides releasing songs and literature in various languages across the country. According to a statement from the party, KCR will lay out BRS’s policies and plans by the end of this month.
(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)
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