M A I N   N E W S

TRS withdraws support to UPA government
T R Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 23
Having been pushed to the wall, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), having three members in the Lok Sabha, expectedly withdrew its support to the Congress-led UPA government today without causing any tremors to the stability of the coalition arrangement at the Centre.

The Congress, which began a two-day conclave of its Chief Ministers in Nainital, has been anticipating such a move by TRS chief and former Union Labour Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who charged the Manmohan Singh government of failing to keep its promise of carving out a separate Telangana state.

The Congress is not unduly worried with the TRS breaking free and taking the path of agitation. The UPA is comfortably placed with the support of nearly 330 MPs in the 545-member Lok Sabha.

After failing to get a firm commitment from the UPA and the Congress in particular on creating a Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh, Mr Rao told mediapersons here that he had sent a letter to President Abdul Kalam, withdrawing his party’s support to the UPA government with immediate effect.

Mr Rao’s letter to Dr Kalam observed, “Since the UPA government has failed to keep its promise made in the common minimum programme on the formation of a separate Telangana state even after achieving clear consensus, as a protest, the TRS is withdrawing its support to the UPA government with immediate effect”.

This rings down the curtain on the uneasy relationship over the past two years between the TRS and the Congress. The TRS had fought the 2004 general election in alliance with the Congress in Andhra Pradesh.

Mr Rao made it clear that the byelection to the Karimnagar constituency, which he had quit, would be a referendum on the Telangana issue and challenged the Congress to come to the hustings.

Asked if he would contest the Karimnagar byelection, Mr Rao said, “Most likely...at the same time I should not announce it all alone. It has to be formally announced by the party”.

Attacking the Congress, the TRS leader said the party had manipulated the clear consensus that had emerged in favour of a separate Telangana state.

He claimed that the total number of MPs supporting the demand for a Telangana state was in the range of 400. This included members of the NDA, almost all allies of the UPA and some smaller parties as well.

Mr Rao dared the Congress to contest the Karimnagar byelection. “I welcome them (the Congress) to come and contest. That is the reason for my withdrawing support. I am sounding the war bugle now”. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has accepted the resignation of Mr Rao from the Lok Sabha. The TRS leader had sent in his resignation on September 12. He had resigned from the Cabinet on August 22.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |