Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Nadendla Bhaskara Rao said regional parties must confine themselves to their respective states and contest general elections by forming an alliance with a national-level party. "It is my personal opinion that regional parties should not contest Lok Sabha elections. It is better to support one of the national parties," Rao told PTI at the Gannavaram airport on Friday while leaving for Hyderabad after a brief visit to his native district Guntur.
He said that regional parties could contest Lok Sabha elections by forming an alliance with a national party before elections and their alliance should continue till the term of the house is completed. The former chief minister explained that he made the suggestion because regional parties had brought pressure on the Union government to listen to them.
He said that in future, regional parties may create many problems at the Centre and also for the ruling party, adding that perhaps after ten years, the ruling national party at the Centre will be forced to bring a legislation banning regional parties from contesting Lok Sabha polls.
Bhaskara Rao served Andhra Pradesh as Chief Minister only for a period of one month in August 1984 by dethroning the then Chief Minister NT Rama Rao of the Telugu Desam Party and resigned later, after huge public pressure and agitations in the state. On the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, he said, "I will not comment on the issue at this moment".