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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

TRS chief Chandrasekhar Rao meets Rahul Gandhi

PTI  New Delhi, February 24, 2014
First Published: 14:40 IST(24/2/2014) | Last Updated: 15:02 IST(24/2/2014)

TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday met Rahul Gandhi, a day after he held consultations with Congress President Sonia Gandhi following the passage of the Telangana bill in Parliament.

Rao's meeting with the top Congress leaders has come amid speculation over possible merger of his party with Congress or the forging of an alliance between the two.

He also met President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday to thank him on the Telangana issue.

Rao said that he had met the Congress Vice President to convey his appreciation for the Telangana decision.

Read: Telangana, a brief profile: All that you want to know about India's 29th state

Congress leaders from Telangana had met Sonia 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 (Sonia) 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.

Full Coverage: The Telangana tangle


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