By Prashant Sood,
Hyderabad : Notwithstanding the suspense maintained by his father and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, state IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao has hinted at the party eyeing early Assembly polls to cash in on its performance in the last four years.
He also appeared to keep all the options open at the national level where it seeks to play a decisive role in the formation of next government at the Centre after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In interview to IANS, Rama Rao, whose party held a massive rally on Sunday, said the time has come for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to go back to the people and seek their support.
He also said the party will contest the assembly and Lok Sabha polls on its own and work for formation of a federal front that will be opposed to both the BJP and the Congress.
He said there was a lot of speculation in the media about the party going for early dissolution of state assembly and seeking a fresh mandate from the people.
“Certainly there are advantages (of early election). Once a decision is taken, when it is taken, if it is taken, I will be able to say a lot more,” Rama Rao told IANS.
Addressing the rally, the Chief Minister, who said the state cabinet has authorised him to take any decision in the interest of the state, kept up suspense over whether the party would go for early polls merely saying would soon form an election manifesto committee which will come out with several new promises.
There is speculation that the assembly could be dissolved by September 10 and Telangana would go for elections along with four other states by December this year. The term of Telangana assembly comes to an end in June next year and the assembly polls in normal course would be held along with those to the Lok Sabha.
Rama Rao claimed that if elections are held early, the party will win both the state as well as Lok Sabha polls convincingly.
“It will give us room to talk to potential partners and friends for 2019 polls. We will play a decisive role in the national level,” Rama Rao said.
He said TRS would win at least 100 of 119 seats in the state assembly and 16 of 17 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
“Last time we won 11 Lok Sabha seats and this time we hope to improve our performance,” he said.
Rama Rao said neither BJP nor Congress will be able to form government on their own in 2019 and there are many parties which want to be equidistant from the two.
“We will bring together strong regional parties that want to be equidistant from the Congress and BJP. We will form an agenda and move forward in the interest of the country.
“We believe both Congress and BJP have let down the people of the country. There is a strong need for an alternative force to emerge in the country in the form of a federal front. And like TRS there are other a number of other parties which believe in the same theory, same ideology of non-Congress, non-BJP federal front. I believe it is imminent and possible” Rama Rao said.
He said that there was “no national party” and Congress with 48 MPs was also a regional party.
“We are confident that when 2019 election results come, there can be several possibilities and TRS will have an important role. Post election we will do, what we have to,” he said.
Asked if Chandrashekar Rao could move to the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls, Rama Rao said: ” He (KCR) has a lot of work to do here and the state needs his leadership. I am keen that he should stay as CM for at least 10 more years. This is in the interest of the state and the party.”
Answering a query, he said the party will contest the assembly and Lok Sabha on its and there will be “no coalition, no partners, no alliances.”
Asked about possibility of a tie-up with BJP for the Lok Sabha polls, he said: “none whatsoever.”
Answering a query, Rama Rao said the party’s effort was to convert its support among people into votes.
He said Telangana was witnessing a strange situation where the ruling party is signalling readiness for elections while the opposition appears against early polls.
Asked about the charge that TRS was practising dynastic politics with him and his sister K. Kavitha, MP, given important roles, Rama Rao said they had to work hard to make their way up and had come through an agitation.
(Prashant Sood was in Hyderabad at the invitation of the TRS. He can be reached at email@example.com)