His tweet on TRS has set the cat among the pigeons. But, TRS leader Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, better known as KTR, remains undeterred. “I was only trying to gauge the pulse of the people and assess their mood,” he says. KTR says politics is the art of the possible and that anything is possible in politics. He says TRS is exploring all options in an interview with The Hindu.



Is TRS going to stitch up a deal with BJP? Telangana JAC too wants a TRS-BJP alliance. Are you considering their proposal seriously?

My tweet on whether TRS should go it alone or have a truck with BJP received a tremendous response. Most of the respondents wanted us to sail with the BJP. That the first option and the second option suggested to us was that we go it alone. We are not ruling out any option.



Do you think TRS on its own would be able to pull it off in this election? How many seats are you expecting to win?

Absolutely. We will cross the bridge. We will win well above the half-way 60-seat mark. We will form the government on our own comfortably, and provide a stable and sound administration.



Was G. Vivek a CM aspirant? Your father had promised to make a Dalit as CM, but that’s not going to happen now. Is that why Mr. Vivek quit in a huff?

As far as I know, that was not the reason why he left the party. He was well respected in the party. He has made a personal choice and moved on.



Opinion polls project a hung Assembly in Telangana. In retrospect, do you think a merger with Congress would have served the people of Telangana better?

Survey after survey, there has been a consistent pattern that the TRS will emerge a clear winner in the polls. That’s a clear indicator that we will get a decisive majority. We are looking forward to the electoral battle with a lot of optimism. So, let the merger issue be a thing of the past. Why think about it now…



KCR has been saying nothing less than 17 Lok Sabha and 100 Assembly seats would satisfy him. Is it possible given the tough competition your party is facing from the Congress?

It’s not wrong to have a target. The TRS chief wants to win it all to form a stable government. We are well poised to form the first government in Telangana headed by the TRS. The numbers will certainly help us play a decisive role at the Centre.



Are you apprehensive about south Telangana and Greater Hyderabad seats where your party is perceived to be on a weak wicket?

Yes. We are definitely on the weaker side in these areas. We know that as a party we are not as strong as it should be. We are hopeful of a turnaround. Given the political realignment, there would be a sea change and we would put up a spirited performance in south Telangana.



Taking Konda Surekha, Mahender Reddy and others wasn’t to the liking of Telangana protagonists, especially TJAC which went to the extent of calling them “Telangana traitors.” Any rethink on them?

A political decision has been taken. It was a calculated decision keeping the political arithmetic in play. At an opportune time, we will explain Mr. Kodandaram the circumstances leading to their joining the party and we hope he would understand the electoral arithmetic.



Will your sister Kavitha enter the poll fray?

That’s for the party leadership to decide and take a call. Yes, we are thinking about it seriously.



Are you a CM aspirant?

Absolutely not. I am not in the race.

His tweet on TRS has set the cat among the pigeons. But, TRS leader Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, better known as KTR, remains undeterred. “I was only trying to gauge the pulse of the people and assess their mood,” he says. KTR says politics is the art of the possible and that anything is possible in politics. He says TRS is exploring all options in an interview with The Hindu.

Is TRS going to stitch up a deal with BJP? Telangana JAC too wants a TRS-BJP alliance. Are you considering their proposal seriously?

My tweet on whether TRS should go it alone or have a truck with BJP received a tremendous response. Most of the respondents wanted us to sail with the BJP. That the first option and the second option suggested to us was that we go it alone. We are not ruling out any option.

Do you think TRS on its own would be able to pull it off in this election? How many seats are you expecting to win?

Absolutely. We will cross the bridge. We will win well above the half-way 60-seat mark. We will form the government on our own comfortably, and provide a stable and sound administration.

Was G. Vivek a CM aspirant? Your father had promised to make a Dalit as CM, but that’s not going to happen now. Is that why Mr. Vivek quit in a huff?

As far as I know, that was not the reason why he left the party. He was well respected in the party. He has made a personal choice and moved on.

Opinion polls project a hung Assembly in Telangana. In retrospect, do you think a merger with Congress would have served the people of Telangana better?

Survey after survey, there has been a consistent pattern that the TRS will emerge a clear winner in the polls. That’s a clear indicator that we will get a decisive majority. We are looking forward to the electoral battle with a lot of optimism. So, let the merger issue be a thing of the past. Why think about it now…

KCR has been saying nothing less than 17 Lok Sabha and 100 Assembly seats would satisfy him. Is it possible given the tough competition your party is facing from the Congress?

It’s not wrong to have a target. The TRS chief wants to win it all to form a stable government. We are well poised to form the first government in Telangana headed by the TRS. The numbers will certainly help us play a decisive role at the Centre.

Are you apprehensive about south Telangana and Greater Hyderabad seats where your party is perceived to be on a weak wicket?

Yes. We are definitely on the weaker side in these areas. We know that as a party we are not as strong as it should be. We are hopeful of a turnaround. Given the political realignment, there would be a sea change and we would put up a spirited performance in south Telangana.

Taking Konda Surekha, Mahender Reddy and others wasn’t to the liking of Telangana protagonists, especially TJAC which went to the extent of calling them “Telangana traitors.” Any rethink on them?

A political decision has been taken. It was a calculated decision keeping the political arithmetic in play. At an opportune time, we will explain Mr. Kodandaram the circumstances leading to their joining the party and we hope he would understand the electoral arithmetic.

Will your sister Kavitha enter the poll fray?

That’s for the party leadership to decide and take a call. Yes, we are thinking about it seriously.

Are you a CM aspirant?

Absolutely not. I am not in the race.

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