KCR suffers merger blues


Hyderabad: To merge or not to merge, is the Hamlet like dilemma confronting Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Chandrasekhar Rao had said the TRS would merge with the Congress if the UPA government conceded statehood for Telangana. He now says he will “stand by my word“ but will take a decision only after the Telangana Bill is passed.
What may tilt the balance in favour of a merger is the financial burden of running the day-to-day affairs of the TRS, the huge cost of contesting Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, the fact that the Congress would now be popular in the region for conceding Telangana, and poaching of TRS men by Congress.
But sources in the party say many within the party fear the TRS will go the Praja Rajyam way, with very few of its leaders being given any positions of importance at state or central level. Within the party, the response is mixed. Some prefer an alliance rather than a merger; by winning at least 40-50 Assembly seats they could share power with the Congress in the state.
“Chandrasekhar Rao has built the party brick by brick for a decade with the cooperation of party leaders and cadre. Winding up now will throw us onto the streets. Only a handful will get posts at the Centre and in the state. Some favour a merger but the majority are against it. He is certainly in a dilemma,” said a senior TRS leader.
Chandrasekhar Rao’s main worry is finance. As he has been telling his party men, running the party has become difficult and finding money to contest the elections even more so.
“There is also talk in party circles that the party will lose its zing by the next elections since the Congress will claim credit for giving Telangana and will be in an advantageous position,” said another TRS leader.
Congress circles claim that the TRS has no option but to merge since a survey has indicated that the Congress party has got the upper hand after conceding the separate state.

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