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Municipal polls: Telangana Rashtra Samiti to go it alone

Special Correspondent

Keshava Rao does not rule out tie-up, likely to meet KCR today


NEW DELHI: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Friday announced it would go it alone in the coming municipal elections in Andhra Pradesh.

Announcing this, the TRS chief and Union Minister K. Chandrashekara Rao said the party decision was prompted by the `anti-Telangana' attitude of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy. He said in normal course the Congress and the TRS were scheduled to hold a meeting on the possibility of an alliance for this local body elections.

Mr. Rao said the elections should not be seen as a referendum on its demand for a separate Telangana, and said such a campaign by the Congress leaders was not correct.

He said the people of Telangana region had given massive mandate to the TRS-Congress alliance in the last general election and the municipal elections were always influenced by local issues. However, these elections would help TRS spread awareness on its demand throughout the urban areas.

He said the TRS could consider tie-up with the CPI in some pockets and talks on this would be held in the next few days.

Mr. Rao also announced the formation of a Telangana Jagran Sena which would spread the message of Telangana across the region and it would be headed by Uma Kant, retired Chief Engineer.

Political compulsion

Special Correspondent in Hyderabad writes: Notwithstanding the statement of Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao ruling out an alliance with the Congress in the municipal elections, a development to the contrary is not being ruled out.

The official engagements of the PCC president, K. Keshava Rao, include a luncheon meeting with Mr. K. Chandrasekhara Rao, on Saturday.

Dr. Rao dismissed the TRS leader's claim as a "posturing arising from the latter's political compulsions. But, if the TRS chooses to walk out I cannot comment on it." He told The Hindu that an amicable settlement was on the cards as the TRS leadership was unnecessarily agitated over a non-issue.

He said the TRS concern over Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy's speech at the National Integration Council meeting was "misplaced". Dr. Reddy was only referring to the developmental issues vis-a-vis the demand for smaller States. "It was blown out of proportion and quoted out of context by a section of the media. Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao need not fall prey to the designs of some vested interests."

Rift over seats

He agreed there were some differences with the allies over the number of seats to be shared. The party had adopted a two-pronged strategy of forging alliances and, at the same time, allowing friendly contests wherever inevitable.

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