TRS chief begins lobbying for separate Telangana

Hyderabad, April 26 (Inditop) Confident of a good show in both the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao Sunday left for Delhi to lobby for separate statehood to the Telangana region.

Even before the completion of the election process in most parts of the country, the TRS has launched efforts not only to keep its flock together but also to lobby at the centre and mount pressure on its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state.

KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, left for the national capital to meet leaders of various parties to seek support for a separate Telangana state. During a week-long stay, he will meet prime ministerial candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) L.K. Advani and leaders of other parties.

Though a part of the third front along with the TDP, KCR told reporters Saturday that he was ready for post-poll alliance with any party or alliance in the state and at the centre if it backs the demand for a separate Telangana.

The BJP has already promised that it would carve out a separate Telangana within 100 days if voted to power at the centre.

KCR said he would not hesitate to meet United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also.

By indicating readiness for a post-poll alliance with any formation to achieve a separate state, KCR is also trying to mount pressure on TDP, a key constituent of the third front.

With the possibility of a hung assembly looming large, the TRS has reminded the TDP of its Telangana commitment. “The first session of the state assembly will have to pass a resolution on Telangana,” KCR said putting the onus on TDP.

He also warned that any delay in formation of a separate state would lead to agitations and result in “unnatural consequences”.

His warning came amid claims by some TDP leaders that the TDP would form the government on its own. Even leaders of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have stated that TDP would get simple majority on its own.

The TRS fought the elections in alliance with the TDP, the CPI and the CPI-M. It contested 45 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats in the region. The TRS chief repeatedly claimed that “Mahakutami” or the Grand Alliance comprising the four parties would form the next government in the state.

The TRS held a meeting of all its candidates last week to devise its post-poll strategy. KCR asked all of them to gather at the party headquarters here May 15, a day before the counting. TRS sources said this was to prevent poaching by the TDP or the Congress.

The TRS hopes to play kingmaker in the state, something which it failed to achieve in the 2004 elections. It had then contested the elections in alliance with the Congress and the two left parties, bagging 26 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats. However, the Congress bagged 185 seats on its own in the 294-member assembly.

TRS joined the Congress-led coalition governments both in the state and at the centre but later pulled out, accusing the ruling party of going back on its promise on a separate Telangana.

The TRS is also confident of winning eight out of nine Lok Sabha seats it contested and thus play a key role in the formation of government at the centre.