Special Correspondent

TD chief neither denies nor confirms meet

No secrecy involved, says TRS’ Harish Rao

‘Meet’ assumes significance after Opposition’s rally

HYDERABAD: Did Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhar Rao drive down to Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s Jubilee Hills residence to meet him over dinner on Wednesday night?

Speculation

Responding to a question at a press conference in the Assembly lobbies on Thursday, Mr. Naidu appeared to revel in allowing the speculation to continue, neither denying nor confirming the meeting.

He said he preferred to speak on the subject only on Friday and wanted mediapersons to confine to his reaction to Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s comments against him in the Assembly.

Political significance

When pressed for his response, Mr. Naidu said he expected mediapersons not to lose focus and get diverted.

On the other hand, TRS MLA T. Harish Rao denied that there was such a meeting saying there was still a lot of time left for talking about a possible alliance. There was no secrecy involved and the media would be kept informed, he said.

The ‘dinner meeting’ has assumed political significance as it comes close on the heels of the joint rally held by TDP, TRS and Left parties on Tuesday demanding reduction in the prices of petrol and diesel. It was for the first time since both met and shared the platform after Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao left the TDP in 2001.

The gathering was seen as a precursor to the grand alliance of the four-party grouping.

The ‘meeting’ also comes in the wake of reports that Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao was in a dilemma whether to patch up with the Congress and go to the next Assembly elections or sail with the TDP.