TRS chief Rao sets up camp in Delhi, meets top Congress leaders

Days after Parliament approved the carving out of a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has set up camp in Delhi, meeting with senior Congress leaders, including party president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi, and general secretary Digvijay Singh over the weekend and today to discuss a seat-sharing formula for the general elections.

Reports suggest that Rao has offered the Congress a majority of the 17 Lok Sabha seats from Telangana and the support of the TRS at the national level, provided that the Congress in turn helps him become the first chief minister of the new state.

Talking to reporters after his meeting with Sonia Gandhi, on Sunday, Rao had said that he would talk to Digvijay Singh, in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs for the Congress, about the possibility of the two parties coming together.

In a separate statement, the TRS said that its leader K Keshav Rao, who was the Andhra Pradesh state Congress president earlier, was also present during the hour-long talks in New Delhi.

The release also said that the TRS president plans to return to Hyderabad from Delhi on 26 February.

There is some speculation that the TRS may merge fully with the Congress, but most observers see this as unlikely in the immediate future.