Sunday, May 03, 2015

Chandrasekhar Rao meets Sonia Gandhi, says Congress to remain in touch with him

K. Chandrashekar Rao shows a thumbs up sign to supporters after the Indian parliament’s lower house passed the bill for the creation of new state called ‘Telangana’ in New Delhi, India Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. KCR shows a thumbs up sign to supporters after the Indian parliament’s lower house passed the bill for the creation of new state called ‘Telangana’.
By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: February 23, 2014 5:01 pm

Amid speculation over a possible merger of his party with Congress or the forging of a likely alliance between the two, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao today met Sonia Gandhi, but said that politics were not discussed in their meeting.

Rao said that he had met the Congress chief just to thank her for the Telangana decision.

“No politics was discussed,” Rao said after his meeting with Gandhi. Although he maintained that the AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijay Singh would be in touch with him.

“She said ‘I may be calling you back.’ Whenever she calls me back, I will come and discuss the details,” the TRS leader said.

Rao said it was only because of Sonia that Telangana would become a reality.

A delegation of Congress leaders from Telangana had on Friday met Gandhi following which Union Minister Sarvey Satyanarayana had said that Congress was expecting that TRS would join them.

“We are expecting TRS to join us. Rao has been saying that he would work with Gandhi if Telangana was created. Now that the bill has been passed, there is no reason for him to continue as a separate entity,” Satyarnarayana had said in reply to the possibility of the TRS merging with Congress.

Telangana is all set to become the 29th Indian state with Parliament on Thursday approving the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh for the purpose.

Rao has been at the forefront of the Telangana movement for the last 10 years.

He was a TDP leader and Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly till 2001, before he quit the party and launched TRS to fight for a separate Telangana state.

TRS had joined hands with Congress for the 2004 elections and Rao was appointed as the Union Labour Minister in UPA-I. The sub-regional party joined the YSR Reddy-led Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, although it quit subsequently.

Sharing power at the Centre and in the state hit Rao’s credibility as the Telangana demand was not conceded by UPA-I (2004-09), despite the separate statehood issue being part of the common minimum programme.

Rao had then joined hands with TDP and became part of a “grand alliance” against Congress for the 2009 elections. But his party suffered a serious setback and won only two Lok Sabha seats and 10 Assembly seats in the region.

Rao, who was accompanied by his family members, said he would again call on Sonia in the next few days.

First Published on: February 23, 20143:00 pm
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