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KCR meets Patnaik, talks of federal front

BHUBANESWAR: For the first time since he started getting overtures from major regional parties about joining a non-BJP, non-Congress front, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said a “dialogue” has started at the national level on this issue. He was speaking after welcoming his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao at his residence.

“Yes, both of us discussed the federal front during our meeting,” Naveen told the media even as KCR exuded confidence that something would emerge from the dialogue.

Naveen’s assertion marks a departure from his previous non-committal stand about teaming up with any party, be it BJP, Congress or a third front.

KCR admitted that nothing concrete has emerged out of the meeting, but said it was a process which could bring him to Odisha again. “We have discussed a lot of things on the alternative front. The discussion has just begun. It will continue further. I may have to come to Odisha again to take this forward,”he said.KCR, who has been trying to forge an alliance of regional satraps, is scheduled to fly from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata on Tuesday and meet West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.Talking about a united alliance, KCR said there was a dire need for regional parties to come together. “We strongly believe that there has to be an alternative to BJP and Congress. It is certain that the country needs a change, qualitative change for which dialogue has begun,” he said.

In the backdrop of farm loan waivers announced by different states, KCR lauded Naveen for his approach towards farmers’ plight. “He is a role model and a senior chief minister of the country,” the TRS chief said.

Naveen did not follow the loan-waiver route but introduced a scheme – Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) – which would extend financial and livelihood support to farmers and aim for their holistic development.

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