A day after pulling off a sweeping victory in the Telangana Assembly elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has dropped a host of hints that it may make a foray into the political scape of Andhra Pradesh as well. The hints came from party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and his son KT Rama Rao, both of whom however chose not to go into the specifics.
“When one attends a birthday party, don’t they give return gifts? I will most certainly give (Chandrababu) Naidu a return gift,” KCR said at a press conference on Tuesday evening when asked if the TRS would mark its entry into Andhra Pradesh’s political sphere, TOI reported.
“When he can come here, why can’t I go there? Chandrababu Naidu said he wants the welfare of Telugu people. Can’t I work for the good of Telugu people?” the Telangana Chief Minister added.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu responded to this comment at an even on Wednesday. “The Chief Minister of another state has said he will come here and give me a gift. In a democracy, anyone can go anywhere and work,” he said.
Relations between the two parties have been strained since KCR quit the TDP to start the TRS in 2001. The rivalry between the two parties had peaked over the demand for the creation of a separate Telangana. The TRS emerged as the primary force pushing for it, and the TDP its polar opposite.
By definition, the vision of the TRS has been limited to Telangana. On the other hand, the TDP has shrunk from being a major political force in the Telangana region to almost non-existent, as the Assembly election unequivocally underlined.
KCR’s son and Telangana minister Rama Rao was asked on Wednesday if his party would campaign in support of TDP rival YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh. “Jaganmohan Reddy and his party is also fighting a tough battle in Andhra Pradesh. We wish them well. Let the dust settle here. Why rush into so many things at once,” he said.