YSR Congress is our friend if it does not align with Congress, BJP: TRS

The party hasn't taken any decision on supporting the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh where assembly elections are scheduled to be held along with Lok Sabha polls in April-May.

Published: 11th January 2019 06:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2019 06:00 PM   |  A+A-

JaganYatra

YSRC chief Jaganmohan Reddy (Photo | EPS)

By PTI

HYDERABAD: Ahead of the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh this year, the TRS Friday said the Y S Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) can be its 'friend' if it does not align with the Congress or the BJP.

On whether the TRS would support the YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh where assembly elections are scheduled to be held along with Lok Sabha polls in April-May, TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan said no such decision has been taken.

"That's (whether to support YSRCP) a call Mr KCR (Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao who leads the Telangana Rashtra Samiti) has to take," Khan told PTI.

YSRCP is the main opposition in Andhra Pradesh, where the N Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is in power.

In last month's elections to the Telangana Assembly, the Congress, the TDP, the Telangana Jana Samiti and the Communist Party of India had formed a pre-poll alliance to take on the TRS but the grouping came a cropper.

The TRS returned to power with 88 seats in the 119-member assembly, pushing the Congress to a distant second position with 19 seats.

The TDP bagged a mere two seats, while the TJS and the CPI drew a blank.

During campaigning, Naidu had come under blistering attack from TRS leaders, who alleged that if the Congress-led alliance were to come to power, he would call the shots and also invoked the "Telangana pride".

After the election victory, KCR had said Naidu would get a "return gift", indicating that the TRS is keen to see that the TDP is defeated, but did not elaborate on his party's strategy in this regard.

He said the TRS would certainly spread the message that Naidu "cannot be trusted as sometimes he goes with the BJP, and sometimes with the Congress."

Khan alleged in the run-up to the December 7 assembly polls, Naidu sought to "interfere in Telangana politics and create an atmosphere of mistrust among the people and tried to divide them on the lines of Seemandhra, Andhra and Telangana".

"About the policy, whether to contest (in Andhra Pradesh), whether to support somebody, that will be taken by party (TRS) politburo when the time comes," he said.

YSRCP did not contest in the Telangana elections but some analysts have said supporters of Jaganmohan Reddy-led party supported the TRS given their "antipathy" towards the TDP.

But Khan denied it, saying the TRS received no such backing from YSRCP.

Speaking in the context of "national perspective", he said any party which is not with the Congress and BJP, can be "our friends".

Asked then if YSRCP is a "friend of TRS", Khan said: "If he (Jaganmohan Reddy) does not align with these two major parties".

"Definitely, he (Jaganmohan Reddy) can be our friend and he can sail with us in the larger interest of the country, where KCR has said he is trying to form a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front," he said.

Khan rejected the perception in some quarters that KCR's efforts in promoting a non-Congress, non-BJP federal front has not cut much ice with regional parties.

Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik's statement that his party would not align with the Congress and BJP is in tune with KCR's "thinking", he argued.

"Now Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party chief) said he would not align with the Congress, Mayawati (Bahujan Samaj Party supremo) said she will not align with Congress. This thought (of KCR on federal front) is developing", Khan said.

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