Is a grave shortage of funds making the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) inch towards the Congress and form a merger with the party?

Keeping in view the next elections, which in all probability will be held in the newly formed Telangana State, a section of the leadership in the Telangana protagonist party is said to be favouring this move to take advantage of the vast resources of the national party.

Mancherial MLA G. Arvind Reddy, among others, is reported to have suggested to his party president K. Chandrasekhar Rao to go in for a merger with the Congress as going alone in the next election could mean funding many candidates who may not be resourceful enough.

Cost assessment

According to sources, an assessment of costs in the event of the party going it alone is about Rs. 150 crore cumulatively for the 17 MPs and 119 Assembly seats in the region. “Every Parliamentary constituency may require about Rs. 10 crore to be spent in the Assembly constituencies,” said a TRS leader, who claims to have participated in the informal discussion which the party held on the issue of merger recently.

“There is no way that our party can foot such a large bill on account of election expenditure,” he opined.

Party funding is generally required in reserved constituencies where candidates from the Scheduled Castes or Tribes are not in a position to spend anything.

“As half of the 10 Assembly seats and the lone Parliament constituency in Adilabad district are reserved, the amount of money required for the party to fund elections just in this district will be to the tune of Rs. 15 crore,” the source estimated.

Divergent views

On the other hand, another section of the leadership is keen on the party fighting the elections on its own.

One of the MPs is said to have offered to spend any amount required provided he is assured of being made the Chief Minister of Telangana.