Congress Puts Up Brave Face as TRS Ups Ante - The New Indian Express

Congress Puts Up Brave Face as TRS Ups Ante

Published: 27th February 2014 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 27th February 2014 09:46 AM

With some prospective allies deserting the negotiating table in the midst of talks, a desperate Congress on Wednesday indicated merger talks with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were on course with ‘just finer details’ being worked out — only to be contradicted by the pink party miles away in Hyderabad.

The TRS upped the ante after its chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s celebratory home-coming. But Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh steadfastly maintained talks were on track and “only the details and the modalities” had to be worked out.

A jubilant TRS, however, seemed in a mood to have the cake and eat it too. KCR’s son KT Rama Rao went to the extent of saying his party was under “no compulsion to either merge or ink a pre-poll pact with the Congress.” The bravado, obviously, was the result of a successful Delhi trip where the KCR entourage not only met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi but also held talks with BJP chief Rajnath Singh. Though a section within the Congress is not overruling the possibility of the TRS going it alone in the elections and choosing a post-poll ally, a top level source made light of KTR’s remarks calling it “posturing to gain an upper hand in negotiations.” He also added rather combatively, “let us see how he becomes the chief minister without Congress support.”

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