TRS woos senior TDP leaders

June 14th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 14 (IANS) Recovering from the defeat in by-elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is trying to woo senior leaders of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) who are openly airing their views in support of separate statehood to the Telangana region. TRS has extended an open invitation to senior TDP leaders like T. Devender Goud, G. Sukhender Reddy and C. Muthyam Reddy, who defied the party leadership’s diktat to demand that TDP take a clear stand on Telangana.

TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao is keen to take an initiative to invite all those TDP and ruling Congress party leaders who have been demanding their respective parties to take a pro-Telangana stand.

The open rift in TDP over the issue has embarrassed party chief and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who again warned that those making their stand public would face disciplinary action.

The squabble between supporters and opponents of separate Telangana has rocked the party ahead of the first meeting of the party’s core committee on the issue.

The committee set up in April to look into the issue is scheduled to hold its first meeting June 18.

“It is time for all Telangana protagonists to set aside all differences and come together for a joint struggle to achieve the separate state,” said Chandrasekhara Rao.

The rift in TDP has come as a moral booster for TRS, which could retain only two out of four Lok Sabha and seven out of 16 assembly seats it vacated. The TDP and the Congress wrested one Lok Sabha seat each and four and five assembly seats respectively.

Sources in TDP it was unlikely that senior leaders like Goud would join TRS. However, the rift in TDP is helping TRS to recover fast from the shocking defeat.

Chandrasekhara Rao said the differences in TDP augured well for the Telangana movement. The TRS held a meeting at Bhongir in Nalgonda district Friday to discuss the reasons for party’s drubbing.

The TRS chief asked his party cadres to rededicate themselves to the movement and work hard for the next year’s elections.

The TRS chief is also keen to invite Congress leaders like U. Purshottam Reddy, who have been openly criticising the party for not taking a clear stand on Telangana.

TRS feels that the churnings in TDP and Congress would help it in making Telangana a key issue before the next year’s polls. It was for this purpose that TRS MPs and legislators had resigned en masse.

Although the party lost half of the seats it was holding, the rift in TDP shows that it has succeeded to some extent in putting Telangana back at the centre stage.

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