The Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS will today meet in Hyderabad to decide on its future with the Congress, after indicating that it is not obliged to go for either a merger or an alliance with the party.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, or KCR, had earlier announced that he would be willing to merge his party with the Congress if a separate Telangana state became reality. The proposal for a new state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh has been passed in Parliament and just needs the President’s signature.
But last week, the TRS took strong exception to the Congress welcoming two of its expelled leaders – Vijayashanti and Arvind Reddy.
“It is certainly in bad taste with the Congress party, while talking to us about a merger or an alliance, at the same time they go about poaching our sitting MLA Arvind Reddy. This is something the Congress leadership needs to understand, that if you want to be friends with TRS, you cannot be picking up people from TRS and expect us to be friends also,” KCR’s son K T Rama Rao said on Friday.
The Telangana party may see this as the exit opportunity it was looking for.
“We are grateful to the Congress and that is why we went and met Mrs Sonia Gandhi. But then this would not have been possible without the BJP’s support either. So, we will take a decision based on the circumstances,” Harish Rao, TRS leader and nephew of KCR, told NDTV.
The TRS and the Congress are also at odds over the assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, due to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in three months. The TRS says it wants polls to be held in the new state of Telangana and not undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, who played a key role in drafting the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Bill which led to the creation of Telangana, though says it would take at least three months after the presidential assent to notify the new state.