The two-day-long discussions between poll strategist Prasant Kishor and Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) at Pragathi Bhavan in Hyderabad recently created tremors in Telangana Congress. Sources say state unit leaders are perplexed as Kishor has been having parleys with party chief Sonia Gandhi on the possibility of joining the Congress while simultaneously holding meetings with KCR.
First, it was learnt that PK, as the poll strategist is popularly known, was going to lend his services to the state’s ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ahead of the 2023 assembly elections. Then came reports that he had chalked out a plan for an alliance between the Congress and the TRS.
According to sources in the Kishor camp, as he was deciding to possibly join the Congress at an appropriate time, his organisation Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) opted to work with the TRS for the impending elections based on an earlier agreement between the two.
Sources close to PK are of the opinion that though he may join the Congress, the understanding between IPAC and regional parties may benefit them as well as the Congress.
Some Telangana Congress leaders are of the opinion that the meeting between PK and KCR is a farewell of sorts. It has been learnt that Sonia Gandhi gave two weeks to Kishor to cancel his agreements with other parties before joining the Congress.
Also, a large number of Congress leaders from Telangana have ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the TRS, saying the key contest for the coming assembly elections will be between the two parties.
They referred to the statement of former party chief Rahul Gandhi in a recent meeting with Telangana leaders in Delhi, where he categorically said that there will be no poll pact with the TRS under any circumstances in the impending elections.
According to the Congress leaders, party state affairs incharge Manickam Tagore also confirmed this on Twitter. The upcoming rally by Rahul Gandhi at Warangal will put an end to all the speculation, they added.
As the issue of PK is connected to the party high command, most of the Congress leaders from Telangana are refusing to express their opinion publicly.
The leader of the Telangana Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka has said that there are no discussions among state party leaders on the matter. “They will abide by the decision taken by Sonia Gandhi, whatever it may be,” the CLP leader said.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president Jagga Reddy has said that the party high command will take the final call on the issues related to the joining of PK in the party and any poll alliance. Other prominent leaders also echoed this view.