Blowing hot and cold, Congress on Wednesday virtually told TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao that it would give him a run for his money in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat if a bypoll is held following his resignation from the seat on the separate Telangana issue.
At the same time, it told partymen including Andhra Pradesh PCC chief Kesava Rao and Sports Minister Satyanarayana Rao, who had reportedly issued statements challenging the sulking TRS leader, to show restraint.
"We are concerned about the people of Telangana and not about what Rao and TRS does. Let them do what they want. If there is a vacancy, Congress will certainly set up its candidate," AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who is also incharge of party affairs in the state, told reporters.
Singh, however, preceded his remarks by recalling that the Congress had fought elections together with TRS and holds Rao in "high esteem" and "we did not want him to go and he walked out himself."
Replying to another query, Singh also suggested that the TRS was still part of the ruling UPA saying he had not give any letter withdrawing support to the central coalition.
Meanwhile, Rao's letter of resignation was received by the Lok Sabha Speaker's office on Wednesday evening.
Parliament sources said Speaker Somnath Chatterjee takes a decision on such resignations after calling the concerned members personally and knowing from them first hand about their decision.
Asked about the offer of two Andhra Pradesh ministers to resign from their seats, Singh felt that they would not press for it.