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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

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

PTI  New Delhi, February 23, 2014
First Published: 16:09 IST(23/2/2014) | Last Updated: 16:13 IST(23/2/2014)

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 on Sunday met Sonia Gandhi, but said that no politics was discussed during their interaction.


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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, at the same time, that the AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh would be in touch with him.

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 it.

"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 while replying to queries about the possibility of 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 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 statehood issue being part of the common minimum programme.

Rao had then joined hands with TDP and become 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.


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