After securing tacit support from two powerful regional leaders—J Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik—Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reached out to another potential supporter, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao.
Rao’s party has 10 MPs in Lok Sabha and a member in Rajya Sabha. Like Patnaik, who paraded his party’s 24 parliamentarians before Modi when he came to demand a better deal for Odisha, Rao too was flanked by all 11 Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MPs when he met Modi. He also had an exclusive meeting with the PM.
Before the election, Rao unilaterally snapped a seat-sharing deal with the Congress at the last moment to keep his post-poll options open. Top sources added that Rao has hinted Modi of his party’s support at the meeting.
Rao is learnt to have also sought special category status for the new state. The status would enable Telangana get more Central share in certain development schemes.
On June 2, when Telangana was officially born, Modi tweeted to congratulate the people of the state but also especially wished Rao. “Congrats to K Chandrasekhar Rao Garu on taking oath as Telangana’s 1st CM. My best wishes to people for the state’s development journey,” Modi had said.
In his list of demands, Rao also highlighted the need for tax incentives to woo new industries and Centre’s help to set up power projects of at least 4000 MW. He also demanded Pranahita Chevella irrigation project be given national status which would entail more money from the Centre.