The two-day political jamboree of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) at Karimnagar has thrown up a question whether it was basically held to shift the moorings of party president K. Chandrasekhar Rao from Mahbubnagar which he represents in the Lok Sabha.
Party sources, however, said Karimnagar was chosen for sentimental reasons and its location in the north-eastern part of the State is considered auspicious. This was important as the TRS was starting a new phase of political battle ahead of the 2014 elections.
Shift a certainty
They recalled that the first public meeting of the party’s “Suma garjana” was also held in the town on May 17, 2001, and KCR launched his hunger strike in November 2009 from there. To top it all, he won the by-election to Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat by a margin 2.20 lakh votes.
Insiders, however, say KCR is sure to give up Mahbubnagar seat which he won by a narrow margin in 2009 and shift to Karimnagar. In the event of his choosing some other seat like Medak, he would field either his son K.T. Rama Rao or daughter Kavitha. In any case, he wants to make Karimnagar, a family fiefdom.
The TRS is exuding such confidence about its election prospects that it has sounded out the grandson of a former Chief Minister to contest a Lok Sabha seat in Ranga Reddy district on behalf of the party. The party is keen on fielding candidates with sound financial background for Lok Sabha seats so that they can take care of the Assembly candidates too.
Having given up all hopes that the UPA II will concede separate Telangana, the TRS’ strategy is to win the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 elections and be in a better bargaining position with the coalition that comes to power.
Sources said he felt thoroughly let down by the Congress after he had assiduously cultivated the party and opened a ‘track two diplomatic channel’ in the hope that they would come up with a good deal for Telangana. With no favourable signals coming and the fact that the Congress is unlikely to romp home in the next elections, Mr. Rao has decided to dump it and move on.