Once the party takes a decision on the separate State, TRS may formally be merged with Congress after the general elections, say top leaders

Congress party’s central leadership is reportedly looking at a strategic pre-poll alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and a formal merger after the general elections in 2014.

Mini core group

This was the sense conveyed to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narasimha and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana when they separately interacted with the party’s mini-core group of Digvijay Singh, A.K. Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Congress party’s war room in New Delhi.

The AICC brass said this was in the realm of possibility once the party took a decision in favour of a separate State.

It was the Chief Minister who first met the three leaders followed by the PCC chief and Deputy CM. These meetings were aimed at giving them an idea of the high command’s mood and the stand it wished to take on Telangana before seeking the Congress Working Committee’s approval at its meeting soon.

The party is weighing the option of alliance as it is confident that the TRS would considerably weaken once a decision on Telangana done and dusted. This would be followed by large-scale desertions from the TRS with the Congress being the main beneficiary.

Authoritative sources told The Hindu on Friday that during the three-hour long meetings, the Congress top functionaries gave abundant hints about its mood in favour of bifurcation.

They are understood to have spoken in terms of creation of Rayala-Telangana in which Kurnool and Anantapur would be part.

Hyderabad as common capital

As for the status of Hyderabad, the leadership was thinking in terms of making Hyderabad as a common capital for about 10 years. “We are confident that a new capital would be developed for Seemandhra within five years,” a senior AICC leader was quoted as saying.

The safety and security of people from Seemandhra settled in Hyderabad and surrounding districts also cropped up during the meeting.

A Congress leader said the high command appeared determined to complete the process of announcing its decision in the next few days and finish the task in next two months.

Before returning to the city, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy called on the party president Sonia Gandhi and took the evening flight from New Delhi.