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Rediff.com  » News » Desperate Congress hunts in TN, plays waiting game in Andhra

Desperate Congress hunts in TN, plays waiting game in Andhra

February 26, 2014 11:42 IST

Chances of holding early assembly polls in Telangana and Seema-Andhra, along with the Lok Sabha elections, seem unlikely, says Renu Mittal

With the Lok Sabha polls almost knocking on their doors, political parties in Delhi are working overtime to get their affairs in order, make important announcements, seal alliances with prospective allies and even create new states.

The most impatient of the lot is K Chandrashekhar Rao, chief of the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, who is harbouring dreams of becoming the first chief minister of the brand new state.

Now that both Houses of Parliament have passed the bill for the creation of Telangana, KCR wants the new state to become a reality and the assembly elections to be held immediately, along with the Lok Sabha polls.

While the Congress and the TRS are in talks to team up for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls to mop up all the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, Rao wants the process to be expedited.

He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently and requested him that the Notification on the Appointed Day for Telangana -- the official date for the formation of the new state -- should be done before the dates for the Lok Sabha polls are announced.

Rao is unhappy with the delay in declaring the Appointed Day for Telangana, say sources close to the TRS chief, adding that any further delay would disappoint the people of the new state who want a government in place and a complete separation from the rest of Andhra Pradesh.

Citing the example of Gujarat, where the Appointed Day was declared in just six days in 1960 after the bifurcation of Saurashtra, the TRS believes that as the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed in both the Houses of Parliament by February 20, the government of India could complete all formalities within two to three working days to declare the Appointed Day for Telangana.

Though the central government is under tremendous pressure from KCR to speed up the creation of Telangana, sources claim that given how difficult and lengthy the process is, it is unlikely that the Appointed Day can be fast tracked to that extent.

Chances of holding early assembly polls in Telangana and Seema-Andhra, along with the Lok Sabha elections, seem unlikely at this stage, they say.

For the time being, the government is planning to bring in ordinances for the six anti-corruption bills which party vice president Rahul Gandhi wanted to be passed in Parliament, so that the Congress can take credit for bringing in legislation to curb corruption.

The Congress is also in the process of stitching up an alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar though the inclusion of Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan in the alliance has now become doubtful.

Lalu is unwilling to take Paswan on board and the latter has started negotiating with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

So far, the Congress has made no headway in putting together an alliance in Tamil Nadu.

Without an ally in the southern state, the party will have a tough time and may not win even a single seat, with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam tipped to win the bulk of the seats.

The Congress is currently in talks with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Vijay Kant’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam.

If the alliance between the national party and two regional parties comes into force, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa will need to work much harder to win the 39 Lok Sabha seats.

Image: Pro-Telangana Congress workers celebrate in Hyderabad ' Photograph: SnapsIndia

Renu Mittal