It’s a big dilemma for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) now after the Congress on Monday gave clear signals about a favourable decision on the statehood issue and leaders openly said they are not keen for a merger with the regional party anymore.
The TRS had offered to merge with the Congress if the party agreed to carve out a separate Telangana state, but after Sunday’s massive T-Congress rally and the high command making its mind to decide on Telangana the next day, the equation has changed rapidly in 24 hours, forcing the TRS to just watch how things unfold in the next few days.
“Now, we are left with no option but to wait and watch,” said Vinod Kumar, TRS politburo member.
“If the merger with the Congress is not possible , then we have to go alone as we cannot force anybody for a friendship,” Kumar said, adding if the Centre grants statehood to Telangana, then they would just celebrate and prepare for polls.
In October last, Congress leaders were receptive to the merger idea when TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao camped in New Delhi for a month holding talks with Congress leaders, who were in two minds then. But in a changed scenario, a large section of the party leadership is averse to take TRS on board as it wants to take maximum advantage of the positive sentiment.
“The Congress does not need to merge with any party , including TRS in Telangana . Sunday’s rally was testimony to the fact that people of Telangana are with us. As we have made it clear, being a national party the Congress is the only party that can give Telangana and achieve Telangana ,” said Ponnala Lakshmaiah, a seasoned minister from Telangana region,
“When such is the case, why we would we need any alliance?” shot Lakshmaiah, who played an instrumental role in organizing the Telangana Sadhana Sabha held at the Nizam College Grounds. Not oblivious to the development, the TRS is waiting to see what the Congress high command announces before taking the next step.
“As you know TRS is for achieving Telangana. We have said we would even merge with the Congress if it grants the separate statehood. Now, they are saying they would take a decision on it, while being cold on joining hands with the pro-Telangana forces,” said K Taraka Rama Rao, KCR’s son and Sircilla MLA.
“While it shows double standards, we still do not believe the Congress would give Telangana. In any case, we are ready to fight on our own,” he added . Senior leaders, including K Keshava Rao and MPs G Vivek and Manda Jagannatham, who joined TRS recently but technically still with the Congress, have been entrusted with the assignment to strike a deal with the Congress, but to no avail.
Sources said the Congress turned down demands of KCR which he put forward as a condition for the merger, which includes party ticket distribution for the 2014 elections, and a control on the selection of the candidates. As there are many aspirants and sitting MPs and MLAs in the party, the Congress hold the view that the inclusion of the TRS into its fold would create a trouble instead, of bringing in any advantage.