Questionmark over TRS-Cong merger

KCR raising bargaining power with Cong: Reports

Recent opinion polls, which say that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will get 13 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, and the possibility of a delay in the introduction of a bill on statehood for the state have made the party reconsider its merger plan with the Congress.

With a strong belief that the people of Telangana are firmly behind TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly referred to as KCR, and not in a mood to trust the Congress, the pro-Telangana party recently dropped enough hints that it might go ahead without the Congress in the 2014 election, much against the wishes of Congress leaders from the Telangana region.

TRS Legislature Party leader and close confidant of KCR, Etela Rajender, has indicated that the party will go it alone in the election, and is not going to merge with any other entity, including the Congress. He said the TRS would have to be there to undertake the reconstruction of Telangana.

“The fight is not only for the geographical Telangana. It is also about its reconstruction. People believe that only KCR has the capability of safeguarding the interests of the people of Telangana,” said Rajender.

He added that the Centre's nod for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in order to create Telangana state was the result of the continued struggle and sacrifices made by the people of Telangana under KCR's leadership. TRS leaders never aspired for any position, and even quit ministerial posts for the sake of Telangana.

Therefore, the TRS would work hard to ensure development of Telangana and resolve problems faced by its people.

Party spokesperson Sravan Dasoju said: “In any movement across the world, the torch-bearer is remembered by the people. Telangana people are emotional. They will not care for caste equations. KCR will remain in their hearts forever.”

It is believed in political circles that KCR is trying to raise his bargaining power with the Congress high command. According to reports, KCR wants to think of merger with the Congress only after the Telangana Bill is passed in Parliament.

Preparing for the worst, as efforts by Congress leaders in Delhi to bring KCR on board have not succeeded so far, the Telangana Congress has begun a “Jaitra Yatra” (victory march) from Bodhan in the Nizamabad district with the slogan: “It is the Congress that promised Telangana. And it is the Congress that gave Telangana”.

Congress general secretary in-charge of state affairs Digvijay Singh has said his party hopes to pass the Telangana Bill in Parliament if other parties cooperate.

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