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‘Merger’ pressure on Rao

New Delhi, Feb. 26: The Congress has mounted pressure on the Telangana Rashtra Samiti by revealing that Chandrashekhar Rao had himself proposed a merger as the regional party pushed for a hard bargain for political space in the new state.

Although the TRS chief has said he would work with the Congress, he never talked about the contours of the relationship. But the Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra, Digvijaya Singh, said today: “The TRS has indicated merger with the Congress and the modalities of the merger were being worked out.”

Digvijaya, by choosing not to mention the possibility of an alliance, was definitely presenting a fait accompli to the TRS that the regional party would not receive kindly.

He said: “We are expecting the TRS to join us. Rao has been saying that he would work with Sonia if Telangana was created. Now that the bill has been passed, there is no reason for him to continue as a separate entity.”

The Congress attaches great significance to Telangana in the next Lok Sabha elections as the rest of Andhra would offer very little.