Rao is known for switching sides when it comes to political negotiations

New Delhi : The refusal of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrashekhar Rao to merge his party with the Congress does not come as a surprise. Rao is known for shifting his positions, and is a slippery customer when it comes to political negotiations.

After the parliament cleared the bill for creating Telangana, Rao had thanks-giving meeting with the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, and after these he had given an impression as if a merger or some tie-up with the Congress was on the cards. But now that he is riding high after the creation of the separate Telangana, Rao wants to call the political shots. It is learnt that one of his demands for merging with the Congress, was to make him the chief minister of the newly carved out state before the elections.

His refusal to merge with the Congress is being attributed to an assessment that whereas the TRS is in top gear because of its achievement in creating the stat, the Congress is also on a downhill track all over the country. In such a scenario, the TRS hopes to sweep the Telangana polls.

But then with his refusal to merge also comes the Congress decision to go ahead without any alliance. “ The people of Telangana are fully aware of the role of all the parties in the formation of the state. KCR may not acknowledge it now for his political goals, but the people know that but for the strong determination of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the state would not have been formed,” said a senior Congress leader from Telangana.

A big chunk of KCR followers has already walked into the Congress, and of the two MPs one Vijayshanthi has also joined the party. There are others from the Telugu Desam Party as well as the TRS who are inclined to join the Congress.

But the absence of a KCR-Congress pre-poll deal injects an element of uncertainty about the fate of the 17 Lok Sabha seats from the state, as well as the shape of the next state government. In the event an arrangement, merger or alliance it was certain that this combine would grab the spoils of the game, but now their respective share is uncertain.

Anil Sharma

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