Reddy leaders unhappy with Jairam’s announcement that Dalit would be made CM

An influential section of the Congress leaders in Telangana are strongly resisting possible alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) tooth and nail.

The very talk of party’s central leadership saying that it was in touch with TRS leader K. Keshava Rao has not gone down well with senior Telangana Congress leaders. Close to two dozen MLAs belonging to the Reddy community are upset by top leadership’s repeated assertion.

Sources privy to the discussions told The Hindu that enough hints had been dropped to the party leadership, including AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, that it would be suicidal for the party to enter into electoral alliance with the TRS. They argue that the TRS has presence only in north Telangana and not much in south Telangana districts.

They made this clear to Mr. Singh at the maiden meeting of the Pradesh Congress Election Committee on Thursday. In such a scenario, former Minister K. Jana Reddy and others have cautioned the high command against taking any decision. They say that without the backing of Reddy legislators, the Congress cannot dream of assuming power in Telangana State.

Senior leaders see a sinister design in TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao refusing to merge his party. They point out that Mr. Rao had reportedly hinted that he would merge his party provided he was made the Chief Minister. “The Congress did not respond to his plea and kept silent and spoke about possible alliance. It was here that he decided to launch an offensive and refuse to even go for electoral alliance,” sources said.

A former Minister said with the Congress capable of forming a government on its own without banking on support of the TRS, there was no need for a poll tie-up. “In the present Assembly, there are 51 Congress MLAs of whom 23 belong to the Reddy community. In the coming elections, the Congress can easily win more seats. By joining hands with the TRS, we will be forced to give away some seats where we have a fair chance of winning the elections. Why should we play second fiddle to Mr. Rao,” a leader pointed out.

Sources said the party could be in a tricky situation after the polls as leaders of the influential community is not willing to concede the chance of coming back to power. They have also not taken kindly to Union Minister Jairam Ramesh announcing that a Dalit would be made the Chief Minister of Telangana. They even questioned the rationale behind such announcements without realising the ground reality, the sources added.