TRS rules out merger

TRS would never be merged with any other party and it will continue as the "sole voice" of Telangana people even if statehood is granted to the region, party President K Chandrasekhar Rao said today.

"TRS would retain its identity and existence under any circumstances. It will never be merged with any other party," he said addressing a gathering at the party headquarters here.

His remarks came in the wake of criticism by TDP leaders that Rao would merge TRS with Congress in return for formation of a separate Telangana.

The TDP leaders cited Rao’s comments in an interview that his party would take a collective decision about the question of merger with Congress if such a situation arose.

Expressing confidence that Telangana state would be a reality, Rao said the TRS would "retain its identity even after the formation of the separate state and strive for the welfare of all sections, especially Dalits, backward classes and minorities".

He reiterated his decision to make a Dalit leader the Chief Minister after the formation of Telangana state. The former Union Minister defended his comments that a "civil war" would break out if Telangana state is not formed.

"After my meeting with the Srikrishna Committee in Delhi, I was asked by journalists what if Telangana is not formed. I replied that it will lead to unnatural incidents and that a civil war-like situation would arise.

"What we are witnessing in Chhattisgarh today, is it not a civil war? Is that what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh want?", he said.

Rao hit out at Andhra Pradesh Congress President D Srinivas for not giving a report to the Srikrishna Committee, appointed by the Centre to look into the Telangana issue, in favour of Telangana demand.

"Why Srinivas cannot give a report to Srikrishna Committee? Why should he feel that Congress leaders from non- Telangana regions would object? Why he cannot be firm in his support for Telangana? If he is worried about his position, I would have sacrificed my Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat and made Srinivas win from there," he claimed.

Today is the 10th formation day of TRS, but the party decided to celebrate the occasion tomorrow in view of the nationwide ‘hartal’ called by Left parties and TDP today against price rise.(PTI)

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