TRS sets tough terms for merger with Congress

Published: 21st July 2013 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st July 2013 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

Even as the Congress high command is yet to say its final word on Telangana, the issue of future relationship between the Congress and the TRS in the Telangana state is dominating the discussions taking place on the T-front in Delhi as well as in Hyderabad.

After receiving signals from Delhi that bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is certain, TRS leadership has reportedly kept its doors open to negotiations with the AICC leadership to merge the party with the Congress only in the event of Congress giving the lion’s share to TRS while allotting party nominations in general polls.

The Congress leadership has reportedly put two proposals forward. One is merger of the TRS with it. And, the other is “Jharkhand model”, where Congress would take majority Lok Sabha seats and leave majority Assembly seats to TRS.

But the pink party, though not averse to merger, wants major share in both Lok Sabha and Assembly seats in the ensuing general polls.

The TRS leadership is of the opinion that the Congress might not come forward to give major share to the pink party as the ruling party will have to accommodate its sitting members. “We are confident that even in the worst case scenario we will win at least 50 Assembly seats and 10 Lok Sabha seats. So, we won’t consider merger proposal if the AICC leadership doesn’t give maximum number of seats to us,” said a senior TRS leader.

Meanwhile, a section in the pink party is averse to the very proposal of merger with the Congress as they argue that staying as an independent party will be electorally beneficial. “If we continue as a separate political entity in the region, we will get not only T-sentiment vote but also attract anti-establishment vote. If we join hands with the Congress or merge our party with it, then we will not get anti-establishment votes,” said a senior leader.

KCR’s strategy

Even as backroom negotiations are going on over the merger proposal, according to party sources, KCR has formulated an 8-page blueprint to attack the Congress in the ensuing polls, in case merger does not materialise.

As per that blueprint, he would primarily run his election campaign calling the Congress as a party whose central leadership will bow to the pressure of the Seemandhra leaders. “Congress may claim that it has delivered T-state after bifurcation. But, we will tell the Telangana people that TRS is much needed to reconstruct the Telangana state, whereas Congress will compromise on the interests of the region, be it sharing of river waters or generating employment, as it would work as per the instructions of 10 Janpath where Seemandhra lobbyists call the shots,” a senior leader said.

As per that blueprint, KCR will blame the ruling party for the death of more than 1,000 youngsters from the region. The TRS will also play the video footage of suicides by Telangana youth.

However, will the TRS be really able to stick its neck out or will it finally buckle under the pressure of Congress is still open to debate.

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