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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

TRS didn't want Telangana to happen before LS polls: Shashidhar Reddy

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 05, 2014
First Published: 22:09 IST(5/3/2014) | Last Updated: 01:19 IST(6/3/2014)

Senior Congress leader and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice-chairman M Shashidhar Reddy described Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's refusal to merge his party with Congress as "brazen political opportunism" and claims that he is in touch with BJP.

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In an interview to HT, he also says that he has definite information that the TRS didn't want Telangana to become a reality before the Lok Sabha elections as it would have electorally benefitted it. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

TRS has said no to merger with Congress and also left the alliance options open ended. How do you see it?
I am not surprised at all. His betrayal was on expected lines. He has converted the alliance issue into a commercial venture. People of Telangana will teach him a lesson for this betrayal since the merger proposal had come from him only. He has also converted the alliance issue into a commercial venture.

Do you think TRS could go for an alliance with BJP?
May be he is already in touch with BJP leaders. KCR has made it clear that he will take a call on alliance once political parties approach him. I am sure he will support any party that promises maximum benefits to him and his party. He has no commitment to secularism

Do you think TRS is upset with Congress over the induction of its MP Vijaya Shanti? TRS has accused Congress of back-stabbing.
She had met the Congress president soon after the CWC passed a resolution on Telangana. KCR suspended her from the party in retaliation. It's all part of the game. We didn't create any ruckus when TRS poached our leaders and sitting MPs.

Hasn't it upset your electoral calculations as Congress hoped to reap rich poll dividend in Telangana along with TRS?
An alliance with TRS cannot be a guarantee for transfer of votes. Vote transfer will not take place with mathematical precision. Telangana is no longer an electoral issue now. In 2009, TRS joined TDP and got two Lok Sabha seats while we bagged nine. In any case, we are ready to go it alone.

TRS is claiming credit for Telangana and has accused Congress-led UPA of indecisiveness?
The fact that Congress has given Telangana is known to all. One thing that has percolated all the way down to grassroots is that Sonia Gandhi stood her ground despite all the odds.

From the beginning, she was determined to honour her commitment for a separate Telangana. I have definite information that TRS was in fact hoping that bifurcation shouldn't happen before Lok Sabha elections so that they could make it a poll issue and reap electoral dividends. But with Telangana, TRS has been left with no issue to fight polls.


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