Open to talks on merger: KCR

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HY31PAG1AHYDERABAD, July 31;Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao said his party was not averse to discussing the proposal for merger with the Congress, provided the ruling party honours its commitment and passes the Telangana Bill in the Parliament.

Mr. Rao thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other parties, including the BJP, for their support, and said the proposal for merger involved several issues, including the modalities. “It is not an issue to be taken lightly. The TRS politburo and other forums, including the Legislature party, will have to discuss it,” he said.

Responding to Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s statement that the Congress was not averse to holdings discussions with TRS on the merger, he said “it is not just the question of introducing the Bill, but its passage in Parliament. We have to be cautious until then”.

Mr. Rao said there was need for clarity on some of the issues mentioned by the Congress Working Committee, the issue of Hyderabad in particular.

The announcement that Telangana would have 10 districts was in line with the aspirations of the people as the Capital would be one among them.

Common capital

“The Congress’ offer of a common capital and the modalities should be clarified. Clarity is yet to emerge on the timeframe within which the Bill will be passed by the Parliament,” he said recalling past experiences when the government went back on its announcement.

He said the job of the Chief Minister of the new State was not an easy one as he had to work continuously to improve the brand image of Hyderabad as also attract investments on large scale that would enable employment and revenue generation.

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