Big blow to TRS, Telangana movement

May 16th, 2009 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 16 (IANS) The results of the Andhra Pradesh assembly and Lok Sabha elections have dealt a big blow to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the movement for separate statehood to the Telangana region.
TRS, which was aspiring for the role of a kingmaker both in the state and at the national level, had a disastrous performance in both elections.

It was a loss of face for TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, who had declared support to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) only last week in an anticipation of bagging a sizeable number of Lok Sabha seats from the state.

KCR, as he is popularly known, had also attended an NDA rally at Ludhiana and declared his support to the alliance for promising a separate Telangana state within 100 days if voted to power.

Fearing poaching by other parties on its would-be legislators and MPs, the TRS had asked all its candidates to camp at the Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters here.

TRS, originally a constituent of the Telugu Desam Party-led four-party Grand Alliance, ended with a tally of 10 assembly and two Lok Sabha seats. It contested 45 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats in the region.

In the 2004 elections, which it had contested in alliance with the Congress, TRS had bagged 26 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats. It had also joined the Congress-led coalition governments both in the state and at the centre but later pulled out to protest the delay in carving out a separate Telangana state.

TRS had also lost much ground in the region when all its 16 state legislators and four MPs last year tendered resignations en masse to seek a fresh mandate on Telangana issue. Ten state legislators and one MP had already quit the party.

TRS lost two Lok Sabha and seven assembly seats in the by-elections. KCR himself scraped through in the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency with a narrow majority.

This time he contested from the Mahabubnagar constituency and won with a margin of 19,000 votes.

Actress Vijayshanti also won the Medak seat but the party had to bite the dust in seven other constituencies including in its former strongholds of Karimnagar, Warangal and Adilabad.

The results may trigger the worst crisis for TRS since KSR launched the party in 2000 after he quit TDP to revive the decades old movement for a separate Telangana state.

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