TRS to take call on Prez poll only after Cong clears stand

KCR had decided to make his next moves in national politics in the Presidential election, after the Rajya Sabha polls concluded in June

HYDERABAD: The TRS is watching the outcome of the Congress ‘chintan shivir’ (brainstorming session) in Udaipur from May 13 to 15 before devising its strategy for the Presidential election scheduled for July.

The TRS leadership is waiting for clarity on the stand to be taken by the Congress on fielding a joint Opposition candidate against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and how non-BJP parties would respond to it.

Party sources said TRS supremo and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had decided to make his next moves in national politics in the Presidential election, after the Rajya Sabha polls concluded in June.

Elections will be held for three Rajya Sabha seats in Telangana before the Presidential election and the TRS is set to win all of them unanimously, given its huge strength in the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister is expected to name the candidates before May 19, although the Election Commission released notification only for one Rajya Sabha seat last week and is expected to issue notification for the remaining two seats by this month-end.

Rao, who made active moves in national politics with his back-to-back tours to Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Jharkhand etc with an aim to forge an anti-BJP front early this year until sitting on a dharna in Delhi against the BJP-led NDA government over paddy procurement issue on April 11, has been maintaining a strategic silence afterwards.

His trips were also aimed for discussion with leaders of regional parties on fielding a joint Opposition candidate for Presidential election in July 2022 with a hope that it would serve as a platform to bring all non-BJP parties together against the NDA for 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

However, differences cropped up among regional parties over joining hands with the Congress. While TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was opposed to working with the Congress, the DMK, Shiv Sena and NCP among others were in favour. The TRS too is not willing to work with the Congress as it is the prime Opposition for the TRS in Telangana and moreover the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi visited the state recently and addressed a massive public meeting in which he vowed to dethrone the TRS and made it clear that there was no question having any alliance with the TRS.

Chandrashekar Rao reportedly lost hopes on the YSRC and the BJD joining hands with Opposition in Presidential election and is of the strong view that these two regional parties would ensure an easy victory for the NDA in the Presidential election with their significant strength in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and respective state Legislative Assemblies.

Taking all these factors into consideration, Rao may take a decision whether the TRS should abstain from voting in the Presidential election or be part of a coalition of non-BJP parties excluding Congress.

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