Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is all set to insist with the Bharaitya Janata Party that his Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) should be allowed to join the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre. If things work out, he hopes to get a berth in the Union Cabinet for his party and offer the BJP a berth in his Cabinet in the state, said sources close to the CM.
KCR offered to both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to join the NDA earlier this year when he called on them in Delhi. However, the BJP leadership was not keen on this as KCR and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party — an NDA partner — shared adversarial relations. KCR will make this offer once again to both the PM and Shah later this month when he meets them in Delhi.
The Telangana Chief Minister, who is hosting a three-day “Ayuta Maha Chandi Yagam”, a Vedic ritual at his farmhouse in Gajwel, 75 km from Hyderabad, 23 December onwards, is planning to visit Delhi later this month to invite the PM and the BJP president for the function.
KCR is optimistic about a positive response from the BJP this time. The assessment in the TRS is that the BJP cannot afford to keep new allies aside especially after a debacle in Bihar, as it needs the numbers in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP does not have any major state to win in the next one year, the TRS feels. The TRS currently has 11 MPs in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha. Recently, a TDP Rajya Sabha member, Gundu Sudha Rani, joined the TRS, thus taking its strength to two. “The BJP might not need us in the Lok Sabha, but our two members in the Rajya Sabha are valuable to them. The TRS has been supporting the BJP on many policy issues in Parliament. Moreover, our strength is bound to go up in the Upper House,” said S. Venugopala Chary, former Union minister and Telangana’s special representative in Delhi. He refused to talk about the possibility of TRS joining the NDA, but said that it would be good for Telangana if that happens.
The normalisation of relations between the TRS and TDP, too, has made the chances of the former joining the alliance in Delhi brighter, said a senior TRS leader close to KCR. Earlier, the TDP opposed any moves to admit the TRS into the NDA fold. Ever since AP CM Chandrababu Naidu invited KCR to the foundation stone laying function for Amaravati on 22 October, both leaders have been on good terms. If Naidu does not object to TRS’ entry into NDA, the BJP leadership will certainly give the proposal a thought, the TRS leader said.