Telangana

We were never fence sitters: TRS

TRS Rajya Sabha MP K. Keshava Rao. File   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Telangana Rashtra Samithi MP Keshava Rao on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that joining an oppositional grouping in Parliament headed by the Congress indicates that his party is veering around to the view that its principle Opposition in Telangana, a State the party governs, is the BJP and not the Congress.

The TRS has, in the past, voted with the NDA bloc headed by the BJP on various Bills and kept a distance from oppositional groupings but had a bitter face off with the BJP during the Huzurabad bypoll won by the latter. Speaking to The Hindu, however, Mr. Rao insisted that his party had always been “in the opposition to the BJP”.

“This is a nonsensical statement. The BJP, which won one seat yesterday has only three seats in a House of 120 members while the TRS has 105 MLAs. The BJP had to forfeit deposit in the elections they fought against us. The TRS is in Opposition and has always been. We have been against the BJP,” he said.

On questions on the party changing its consistent fence-sitter policy on Bills in Parliament, he said, “The TRS never sat on the fence, it is a wrong perception and it should go. This is a perception created by the media because we supported a few Bills. Supporting Bills in national interest does not make us a BJP ally,” he said.

Mr. Rao also sought to clarify that the TRS’s participation in the Opposition protest should not be taken as their changing stance towards the Congress. “It is wrong to say I attended a meeting chaired by Rahul gandhi. I only attended an Opposition meeting.”

Ideological alternative

The BJP on its part acknowledges that its role as an Opposition in Telangana has always existed as an “ideological alternative” to the TRS but that, yes, the party is “yet to grow”.

Former national general secretary of the BJP P. Muralidhar Rao said, in his comment, “The BJP is an ideological alternative to the TRS. We view the TRS as an ideological extension of the Congress. The TRS support of Bills is not support for the BJP but on complimentary issues. The BJP feels that it is the only party that has the potential to become an alternative to the TRS, but we are yet to grow.”

As the TRS continued to protest in Parliament against the Central Government on Wednesday on issues related to farmers and paddy procurement in the State, while not based on numbers currently, there appears to be some change in the chemistry between the TRS and the BJP, with the former visibly less sanguine about the latter’s chances in Telangana.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:17:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/we-were-never-fence-sitters-trs/article37789155.ece

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