Sharad Pawar telephoned

TRS president Chandrasekhar Rao

He sought the support of two TRS MPs to bail out the UPA government

HYDERABAD: Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao has said that his party will support the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government only if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gives a firm assurance on starting the process for creation of a separate Telangana State.

He contended that the Congress party was earlier claiming that the Left parties were not in favour of creating smaller States.

Now is the time

Now that the Communists had decided to withdraw support, the time had come for the Congress party and the UPA itself to take a decision on separate Telangana, he said.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao laid down this condition when Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar telephoned him from New Delhi on Tuesday to seek the support of the two TRS MPs for the UPA government and help avoid mid-term elections to the Lok Sabha.

The TRS chief said he explained to Mr. Pawar how the Congress party had failed to fulfil its promise of conceding Telangana after the general elections in 2004.

The Telangana leader, who has been maintaining a low profile after his party’s drubbing in the recent byelections, has come back to the centre-stage within hours of the Left parties’ decision to withdraw support to the UPA government although his party’s strength in the Lok Sabha has come down from five to two.

Speaking to reporters, he said, “Unless the Prime Minister gives us a specific assurance, the TRS will not help in bailing out the government.”