Hyderabad, March 17 IANS | 8 months ago

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's intervention saved the party from a setback in Telangana as two legislators dropped their plans to cross over to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

The legislators said that after receiving a phone call from Gandhi, they decided not to leave the party.

One of them, Nandishwar Goud, told reporters that he was pleased to personally receive a call from the party vice president.

"He told me that the Congress was a party of backward classes and advised me not to leave the party. I informed him that I did not want to quit but some people were creating such conditions," said Goud, legislator from Patancheru in Medak district.

Goud met Congress chief in Telangana, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, here to convey his decision not to quit the Congress.

Another legislator C. Pratap Reddy, from Shadnagar in Mahabubnagar district, also denied that he was leaving the Congress.

He said he would remain in the Congress till his last breath.

Both Goud and Reddy were reportedly planning to join the TRS, which has not only refused to merge with the Congress but also said a firm no to an electoral alliance.

"We will see if Congress MLAs join TRS or TRS MLAs join Congress," TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao had said Saturday while announcing his decision not to enter into an alliance with the Congress.

Congress leaders have accused Rao of betrayal by going back on his own word to merge the TRS, if the Congress created a separate Telangana state.

Ponnala Lakshmaiah has said the Congress was strong enough to contest the elections on its own, and that the proposals of both the merger and alliance had come from the TRS.

Simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assembly are scheduled for April 30. The Telangana region, comprising 10 districts including Hyderabad, has 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly constituencies.

(Posted on 17-03-2014)

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