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Hot under the collar in Andhra Pradesh

March 24, 2004 18:13 IST

It is extremely hot in Andhra Pradesh these days.

40 degree Celsius apart, hectic political activity and dissent brewing among major parties is also generating a lot of heat.

On paper the Telugu Desam Party and its ally the Bharatiya Janata Party have a completely sewed up seat-sharing pact, with the latter getting nine of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP will also put 27 candidates in the 294 assembly seats.

But dissent has come to the fore with the cadre of both the parties coming into the open and expressing reservations over the poll pact.

The TDP headquarters has been witnessing voice of revolt during the past few days with slogan shouting supporters making their point despite party chief N Chandrababu Naidu threatening to firmly deal with such cases.

The TDP second list for assembly candidates could not be released on Tuesday due to 'pressure groups putting spokes' in the selection process, party sources said.

Meanwhile, even though the Congress-TRS seat adjustments pact shifted to Delhi, dissent and fear is brewing at home with Congress leaders preparing ground to hit back if any sitting Member of Legislative Assembly is denied ticket in the seat sharing process, Congress sources said.

Left parties, after failing to arrive at a consensus, had taken the parleys to Delhi where the Communist Party of India has clinched the deal with one Lok Sabha and seven assembly seats, while the Communist Party of India -- Marxist could not come to terms with Congress.

The CPM, after a few rounds of talks with state leaders, had announced its list terming the delay tactics of Congress as 'unwarranted' and leaving them little time for preparations.

Though the CPM now appears to be reconsidering the process of mutual cooperation, the main hitch lies in the two Lok Sabha seats -- Miryalguda and Khammam -- which the Leftists feel that they have a strong base, CPM sources said.

The Congress had won both the seats in the previous polls and has renominated sitting MPs -- S Jaipal Reddy (Miryalguda) and Renuka Choudhry (Khammam) -- but the CPM wants them back.

On the TDP-BJP side, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had a tough time to pacify his supporters, who were demanding that Malakpet assembly seat should be contested by the BJP in the backdrop of rumours that the seat may be swapped with the TDP.

The BJP cadre did not hide its ire about the number of seats they were allotted, which according to them was 'not proportionate to their growth of strength'.

Senior leaders, including party general secretary Pramod Mahajan, however, said, "The cadre will abide by the pact in the larger interest of the party."

Party sources said the TDP exchanging Tirupati Lok Sabha seat for Nellore is one more factor being hotly discussed in the BJP.


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