Merger talks between the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress seem to have hit a roadblock with the former making it clear that it’s keen on an alliance. In fact, both parties came out with contradictory and even, combative statements on Tuesday.
If Congress State affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh asserted “talks are in a final stage” and only the matter of “seat-sharing” is being worked out, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao claimed merger talks haven’t begun at all. Digvijaya’s remarks came after he met with Congress Seemandhra leaders. KCR released his statement soon after. The pink party chief termed reports of merger talks “a creation of Andhra media.” He told his party activists not to be misled by the “false propaganda.”
He said, “I do not talk politics every time I meet Congress leaders.” KCR met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh earlier in the day and thanked him for granting statehood to Telangana. Soon after the meeting, TRS leaders began saying openly that they are in favour of an alliance with the Congress.
In an indirect attack on Telangana Congress leaders, KCR’s son and MLA KT Rama Rao claimed they had never said they would merge the party with the Congress. “We will take a decision on merger or alliance only after wider consultations with party leaders. The decision will be taken only after the Centre announces the appointed day for the T state,” he said.
He also said, “Henceforth, the TRS will be a formidable political force in Telangana. The party has a bright future in the new State. Several Telangana TDP leaders are joining the TRS as they believe the party can reconstruct the new State.” KTR made the comments when Telangana TDP MLAs KS Ratnam and P Mahender Reddy met KCR and expressed desire to join the party. TRS leaders B Vinod Kumar and N Narasimha Reddy too said the TRS would try to retain its identity.
Vinod Kumar further said 90 per cent of TRS leaders do not favour merger with Congress. He reasoned the TRS has an added responsibility of developing the new State. “If needed, the party will not hesitate to go alone in the polls,” he said.
On their part, Telangana Congress leaders too hit back. “TRS should not bargain. It is the TRS which is merging with Congress, not vice-versa,” Minister DK Aruna said. Emerging from a meeting with Digvijaya Singh, Aruna wondered how could TRS leaders claim credit for Telangana State. “It’s Congress president Sonia Gandhi who made it a reality,” she said.
“It is not proper for the TRS chief to set conditions now as he had himself said he would merge his party with the Congress if T State was given. He should realise that people had voted for T movement not him,” she said.
TRS chief meets rajnath singh
TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday met BJP president Rajnath Singh ostensibly to thank him for helping in the formation of the Telangana State. But Congress leaders viewed the meeting as a pressure tactic.