On possibility of joining NDA, TRS says will maintain ‘neutral stand’

Telangana Rashtra Samithi will continue to maintain its neutral stand in its relationship with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, party working president K T Rama Rao said on Tuesday.

“We have no love-hate relationship with the Centre. We shall continue to maintain our stand for the last five years,” KTR, as Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son is popularly known, said in an informal interaction with reporters.

Stating that there was no invitation from Delhi for the TRS to join the NDA, the he said the party would never compromise on fighting with the Centre on the issues concerning Telangana. “At the same time, there was no need for adopting any confrontationist approach. We shall maintain issue-based cordial relationship with the Centre,” Rama Rao said.

The TRS, which expected to win 16 out of 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state and play the role of kingmaker in Delhi in the event of a hung parliament, won nine seats, while the BJP recorded an impressive show by winning four seats, while the Congress won three.

KTR said even if the TRS had won 16 seats, it would have done nothing in Delhi, as the BJP had registered landslide victory. “Nine or 16, the figure hardly makes any difference for us now,” he said.

The TRS leader said the general elections in Telangana had witnessed a strange trend this time. “We could get only nine seats, compared to 11 in 2014, though there was an increase of six per cent vote share for the party. But compared to the assembly elections held in December, the TRS got four lakh votes less,” he said.

He attributed the sudden rise in the fortunes of the BJP in Telangana to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity. “It was only because of the Modi wave that the BJP could win four seats. In Adilabad, the BJP has no cadre base at all. Yet, it won the MP seat there,” he said.

Refuting criticism on the party’s performance in the polls, KTR said many factors contributed to the result. “In Nizamabad (where his sister Kalvakuntla Kavitha lost), the Congress colluded with the BJP. The so-called farmers who contested against Kavitha were Congress and BJP workers. But one such defeat cannot demoralize us. We are fighters,” he said.

He pointed out that BJP had won in the entire country and not just in Telangana. “Big leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Deve Gowda also lost,” he said.

First Published:
May 28, 2019 19:16 IST

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