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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2675

A regional party quits India ruling coalition

By M Rama Rao reporting from New Delhi

New Delhi, 24 September, ( A small, numerically insignificant regional party Saturday quit the Congress led United Progressive Alliance of prime minister Manmohan Singh after it failed to have its way on the creation of a new state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), after formally announcing its decision to from the UPA, is getting ready to join the opposition alliance of BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). BJP is in favor of smaller states. An announcement on the new alignment is expected shortly.

The move doesn’t affect the stability of the government which enjoys a comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha - around 330 members in the 545 member house.

A month back on August 22, the party’s two ministers had resigned.

TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao told reporters here that he had communicated their decision (to withdraw from UPA) to President APJ Abdul Kalam. This regional party which fought the 2004 election in alliance with the Congress had five MPs but Mr Rao had quit his Karimnagar seat on September 12 after a public spat with a section of the state Congress leaders. The Speaker has since accepted his resignation, bringing down the TRS strength to four in the Lok Sabha.

In the past two-three days, both Mr Chandrasekhara Rao and his senior colleague, Mr. A Narendra has been giving the impression that they were getting ready for a rapprochement with the Congress.

While Mr. Rao had said his only wants a public assurance on demand for creation of Telangana state without any time frame, Mr Narendra, went to the extent of saying that he and Mr Rao were willing to return to the UPA cabinet.

But at his press conference held shortly after he met the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Mr Rao stuck a different theme. "The UPA government has failed to keep its promise made in the CMP on the formation of the separate state of Telengana even after achieving clear consensus and as a protest TRS is withdrawing the support to the government with immediate effect."

He sounded bitter that the Congress did not concede the TRS demand.

He disputed the Congress party’s contention that there was no consensus amongst all parties on carving out the new state out of Andhra Pradesh.

Chandrasekhara Rao said that he would contest the by-election to the Karimnagar seat and claimed that the by-poll would be a ‘referendum’ on the Telangana issue. "It will reflect the mood of the people of Telangana (region comprising nine districts of Andhra Pradesh). Karimnagar will prove what is what."

TRS circles indicated that the party would be joining the NDA since ‘the BJP is in favour of Telangana state’. But when specifically asked whether he would join the NDA, Mr Chandrasekhara Rao merely said, 'what will happen in the future I can’t say now.'

He however added he would activate the committee on smaller states he heads as convener. "We will stir up separate state agitations in Vidarbha, Bundelkhand and other regions. I was elected convener of a committee to fight for separate states (in 2005)".

-Asian Tribune -

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