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KCR meets Sonia with wishlist, sparks speculation

Last updated on: February 24, 2014 10:49 IST

Amid speculation over a possible merger of his party with Congress or the forging of a likely alliance between the two, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday met Sonia Gandhi, but said that no politics was discussed during their interaction.

Rao said that he had met the Congress chief just to thank her for the Telangana decision.

"No politics was discussed," Rao said after his meeting with Gandhi although he maintained, at the same time, that the AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijay Singh would be in touch with him.

A delegation of Congress leaders from Telangana had on Friday met Gandhi following which Union Minister Sarvey Satyanarayana had said that Congress was expecting that TRS would join it.

"We are expecting TRS to join us. Rao has been saying that he would work with Gandhi if Telangana was created. Now that the bill has been passed, there is no reason for him to continue as a separate entity," Satyarnarayana had said while replying to queries about the possibility of TRS merging with Congress.

Telangana is all set to become the 29th Indian state with Parliament on Thursday approving the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh for the purpose.

Rao has been at the forefront of the Telangana movement for the last 10 years.

He was a TDP leader and Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly till 2001, before he quit the party and launched TRS to fight for a separate Telangana state.

TRS had joined hands with Congress for the 2004 elections and Rao was appointed the Union Labour Minister in UPA-I. The sub-regional party joined the YSR Reddy-led Congress government in Andhra Pradesh, although it quit subsequently.

Sharing power at the Centre and in the state hit Rao's credibility as the Telangana demand was not conceded by UPA-I (2004-09) despite statehood issue being part of the common minimum programme.

Rao had then joined hands with TDP and become part of a "grand alliance" against Congress for the 2009 elections. But his party suffered a serious setback and won only two Lok Sabha seats and 10 assembly seats in the region.

Rao, who was accompanied by his family members, said he would again call on Sonia in the next few days.

"She said 'I may be calling you back.' Whenever she calls me back, I will come and discuss the details," the TRS leader said.

Rao said it was only because of Sonia that Telangana would become a reality.

During the meeting with the Congress President, Rao presented a representation to her in which he has summed up administrative requirements of the Telangana state and asked the Centre to address them on priority basis.

"There are only 27 Indian Administrative Service (IAS), 10 Indian Police Service (IPS) and 15 Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers belonging to Telangana in the present Andhra Pradesh cadre. This is against the requirement of about 50 IAS, 35 IPS and 35 IFS in cadre strength of 150 for IAS, 100 IPS and 100 IFS," he said.

Rao said a large number of All India Services officers of Telangana were working in other states and "they may be allowed to work on deputation in Telangana for a period of 5 years."

He also demanded setting up of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Indian Institute of Management in Telangana.

Rao demanded that Telangana be included into "special category irrigation project states" along with allocation of 500 MW from NTPC for a period of at least 3 years out of the central pool. 

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