ANDHRA PRADESH

Congress-TRS alliance will help TDP: Naidu

HYDERABAD, FEB. 26. The Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday said the Telugu Desam Party would return with a "bigger majority" because of the alliance between the Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti. He said the alliance was a "panic reaction" by the Congress after its weaknesses surfaced. The damage, if any, would be to the Congress and not to the Telugu Desam, he said.

Answering questions at a media interaction, he said the alliance indicated that the Congress lost confidence in itself and that it would stop at nothing to secure its interests. People favouring an undivided Andhra Pradesh, especially in coastal districts, would turn against the Congress. They did not forget the "filthy and abusive" language used by the TRS chief, K. Chandrasekhara Rao, in decrying the Congress, he said.

In contrast, Mr Naidu said his party stood for integrated Andhra Pradesh and there was no compromise on this. Asked how it could sail with the Bharatiya Janata Party whose leaders also spoke of separate Telangana, he said the Telugu Desam was committed to the NDA agenda.