Ex-Congressman Keshava Rao named TRS general secretary

Hyderabad, June 18 (IANS) K. Keshava Rao, a former senior leader of the Congress party, Tuesday took over as the secretary general of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Keshava Rao thus became the number two in the party headed by K. Chandrasekhara Rao.

KCR, as TRS president is popularly called, also appointed Rao as the head of the party's national affairs committee.

This is the first time since KCR founded the party in 2000 that he has named a general secretary.

The TRS chief made the announcement at a press conference in the presence of Rao, who last month quit Congress party to join TRS along with two party MPs.

KCR said Keshava Rao was in touch with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, who has proposed formation of the Federal Front.

The MP from Mahabubnagar said TRS would play a key role at the national level after the coming elections.

"In Andhra it is going to be a triangular fight and hence none of the three parties (Congress, TDP and YSR Congress) can win more than 10 (Lok Sabha) seats. TRS will be the only party from Andhra Pradesh which will get 16 seats," said KCR.

Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, 17 seats are in Telangana region.

KCR also made it clear that nothing short of a separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital is acceptable to TRS.

He said Keshava Rao would take key decisions of the party and would also look after its national affairs.

The TRS chief said he had been a fan of Keshava Rao since his student days. "I used to go to (legislative) council to hear him. He is an eloquent speaker. His experience and abilities will be of immense help in achieving the goal of Telangana state," he said.

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