Fine Bal­anc­ing Act in Anti-TRS Al­liance’s Seat-shar­ing For­mula

Congress to con­test 94 seats, of­fers TDP 14 seats, TJS eight and CPI three seats

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The seat-shar­ing for­mula adopted by the par­ties that have formed an al­liance against the rul­ing Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi (TRS) ahead of the Te­lan­gana as­sem­bly elec­tion sig­ni­fies a spirit of ac­com­mo­da­tion among the part­ners but also poses a chal­lenge to the new al­liance. The Congress on Thurs­day an­nounced that it will con­test 94 seats while it has of­fered the TDP14 seats, Te­lan­gana Jana Samithi (TJS) eight and CPI three seats. Bar­ring the CPI bar­gain­ing for one or two more seats, and the TDP seek­ing changes on a cou­ple of seats, the lar- ger seat-shar­ing for­mula ap­pears to be a done deal, said peo­ple aware of the mat­ter. The al­liance part­ners are all set to de­clare their re­spec­tive can­di­dates soon, they said.

The dra­matic cob­bling up of the op­po­si­tion al­liance in Te­lan­gana, called ‘pra­jaku­tami’, soon af­ter the TRS gov­ern­ment dis­solved the as­sem­bly and opted for early elec­tion, has sud­denly thrown up a chal­lenge to the rul­ing TRS which was ex­pect­ing a walkover in the polls.

Flex­i­bil­ity among the part­ners in the op­po­si­tion al­liance is ev­i­dent, es­pe­cially since the Congress and the TDP had won 19 and 15 seats re­spec­tively in the pre­vi­ous elec­tion but now the TDP has ac­cepted just 14 seats while the Congress will con­test from 94 seats.

None­the­less, with the TRS ac­cus­ing the TDP of be­ing anti-Te­lan­gana and the Congress of be­ing a “be­trayer” by al­ly­ing with such a party, the newly formed coali­tion faces a stiff chal­lenge of keep­ing the fo­cus on anti-in­cum­bency in the up­com­ing elec­tion.

Given that the Congress base in Te­lan­gana had been bat­tered af­ter the bi­fur­ca­tion of erst­while Andhra Pradesh, the al­liance spells an un­ex­pected boost for the Congress as it is be­ing ac­knowl­edged as the main op­po­si­tion party. The TDP has ac­cepted a ju­nior sta­tus mainly be­cause it knows it has been fast los­ing base in Te­lana­gana. At the same time, TDP chief N Chan­drababu Naidu would be hop­ing that keep­ing the Congress in good hu­mour in Te­lan­gana could help him stitch an al­liance in Andhra Pradesh to his party’s ad­van­tage.

Also part of the coali­tion is TJS, whose leader M Ko­dan­daram has set­tled for con­test­ing on eight seats af­ter claim­ing for long that his party would con­test from all 119 as­sem­bly seats. For the CPI, the op­por­tu­nity to con­test from at least three seats keeps alive the hope of the party open­ing an ac­count in the as­sem­bly.

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