The TRS would back AIMIM chief and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi in the Lok Sabha elections and seek his support for candidates of the ruling party in the remaining 16 seats in Telangana. The move does not come as a surprise as the TRS or Telangana Rashtra Samiti and AIMIM, who describe each other as “friendly party”, worked together in the Assembly elections.
In fact, Owaisi, the three-time Hyderabad Lok Sabha member, had campaigned for TRS in some Assembly segments. The K Chandrasekhar Rao-led TRS returned to power with 88 seats in the 119-member Assembly. AIMIM had bagged seven seats. “They (AIMIM) are our friendly party, they have reciprocated to us, they will help us. We will take their help in winning 16 seats and we are not targeting the seat held by Owaisi, Hyderabad, we will extend support,” TRS spokesperson Abid Rasool Khan told PTI Wednesday.
Meanwhile, on the defensive after none of the woman aspirants could find cabinet berth in the expansion made by the chief minister on Tuesday, the TRS said there are still six vacancies to be filled. There was no woman representation in the state cabinet in the first term of the TRS government. “Our party definitely considers that there should be a woman representative; in the coming expansion, there would be woman representation for an important portfolio,” Khan said.
On chief minister’s nephew T Harish Rao and son K T Rama Rao not being included in the cabinet expansion, he said the party has the task of winning 16 Lok Sabha seats in the state, which has a total of 17 constituencies. “At this time, their services are required for the party… campaigning throughout the state. So, I think, the chief minister has not burdened them with task of handling another ministry. Their services (for the party) would be invaluable”, he said.
Harish Rao and Rama Rao held key portfolios in the first term of the KCR government. Rama Rao was appointed TRS working president, a day after Chandrasekhar Rao assumed charge as the chief minister for the second consecutive term on December 13.