TRS chief aims at garnering the votes of minorities and improve the chances of his party forming the government in Telangana. As far as the BJP’s ally Telugu Desam is concerned, there would be no other go for the TDP but to yield because it has been a traditional rival of Congress.

By advocating a non-Congress and non-BJP alternative at the Centre after the elections, TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao seems to have succeeded in pushing a hidden agenda with the sole aim of winning the votes of minorities and scaling up the chances of the party to form the first government in Telangana.

Mr. Rao thundered at Sunday’s election rally in Karimnagar that his party would join the third alternative as it is cent per cent secular. Sources say Mr. Rao deliberately played the minority card, knowing fully well that the third alternative is a far cry in the present circumstances as the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is poised to get over 230 Lok Sabha seats, as per most of the surveys. He apparently thinks the vote of minorities is crucial in the event of a hung Assembly in Telangana where TRS and Congress will have to share the spoils.

In such a scenario, sources added that Mr. Rao is more likely to bargain with the BJP rather than Congress as the latter’s tally of Lok Sabha seats is not expected to be significantly higher than 100. It would be a give and take for TRS and BJP as they could lend support to each other in formation of governments in Telangana and Centre respectively. With eight or nine MPs, the TRS could help BJP at the Centre and vice-versa in the State. The Congress, on the other hand, will have no stakes to support formation of a TRS government because of its own poor position at the Centre.

As far as the BJP’s ally Telugu Desam is concerned, there would be no other go for the TDP but to yield because it has been a traditional rival of Congress. The TDP would be forced to assist the formation of TRS government not only with its few elected MLAs but the defections from the former prior to the elections. Nearly 15 TDP MLAs have jumped to TRS in the last one year.

Sources point out that this is not the first time that Mr. Rao had predicted the emergence of a third alternative. When the voting in Parliament on nuclear deal took place in 2008, he met CPI and CPI(M) general secretaries A.B. Bardhan and Prakash Karat respectively and announced the likelihood of Mayawati becoming Prime Minister with the collapse of the UPA government following the voting.

It may be recalled that Mr. Rao forged alliance with the CPI, CPI(M) and TDP in 2009 elections but rushed to Haryana to participate in a rally of NDA even before the results were declared.