Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhar Rao said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) would be the first choice of his party to extend support to form government at the Centre. The TRS would support a third alternative only if UPA has no scope to form the government, he said at a media conference here on Friday. He stressed that in any case, the Congress was also looking towards the third alternative. “The TRS will not support the National Democratic Alliance at any cost,” Mr. Rao said.

Mr. Rao said he would be the first person to support Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister because Telangana would not have achieved Statehood without the initiative of Sonia Gandhi. He said he had nothing personally against Ms. Gandhi or Mr. Rahul Gandhi, but has only respect for them.

Mr. Rao warned of turmoil if the BJP rubbed the TRS on the wrong side on the status of Hyderabad. In this context, he recalled that the BJP prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, had recently expressed his intention to make Hyderabad the second capital of the country. It was precisely to prevent giving teeth to such moves that the TRS did not want political vacuum from the time election results were announced on May 16 to formation of Telangana State on June 2. Therefore, the TRS had petitioned the court to advance the appointed day from June 2 to May 16, he reasoned.