Delivering a shock to the Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhara Rao has announced severing relations with the grand alliance of the opposition in Andhra Pradesh.
Chandrasekhara Rao made the dramatic announcement after late Monday night after the last ditch effort to thrash out the thorny issue of seat sharing with the TDP ended in a fiasco.
Negotiations between the two parties were deadlocked for the last few days as the TRS was demanding nine more assembly seats over and above the 45 assembly seats TDP had initially agreed to leave for the party. However, the issue of Lok Sabha seats was settled as TDP accepted TRS's demand for nine seats.
TRS had adopted an uncompromising stand on several key assembly constituencies, including Adilabad and Nizamabad town constituencies. The situation apparently went from bad to worse when TDP President Chandrababu Naidu kept a large delegation of TRS leaders waiting from 2230 hours to past midnight.
On coming to know of the humiliation of the delegation, which included his son and TRS general secretary K Taraka Rama Rao, his nephew T Harish Rao and TRS floor leader E Rajender, Chandrasekhara Rao ordered the delegation to return immediately.
An angry Rao personally called some reporters later to announce the end of relations with the TDP.
"Now the question of an alliance with the TDP does not arise. We will not ally with any party in this election. TRS will enter the fray alone and we will release our list of candidates by Tuesday afternoon," he told the media.
According to the sources, Rao told his colleagues that it was the TDP which needs TRS to form its government and TRS does not need any body to win in Telangana region.
His announcement shocked the TDP leadership, forcing it go on the defensive. The TDP Politburo meeting on Wednesday has been postponed and party president N Chandrababu Naidu is trying to find a way out of the mess by consulting the senior party leaders.
Surprisingly, the crisis reached breaking point hours after senior TDP leader K Yerran Naidu had held talks with Harish Rao and Taraka Rama Rao on the few assembly seats and it was believed that the deadlock was broken by agreeing to give 48 assembly seats to the TRS. But apparently it was not satisfying enough for Chandrasekhara Rao and he continued to haggle for a few more seats.
A beleaguered Chandrababu Naidu also sought the help from the left leaders to solve the problem but B V Raghavulu of CPI-M refused to get involved, given the volatile nature of Chandrasekhara Rao.
However CPI state secretary K Narayana was trying to keep the dream of a grand alliance alive, saying TRS was still part of the combine to ensure the defeat of Congress party.
Now the only glimmer of hope for the grand alliance is the reported reluctance of young TRS leaders Harish Rao and Taraka Rama Rao to break away from the alliance. The duo is reportedly trying to persuade their party's patriarch to cool down and remain with the combine.