The Congress which was snubbed by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has decided to rope in members of the Telangana Joint Action Committee to fight the elections on their ticket.
The TJAC was one of the primary decision making bodies in the Telangana struggle and its members are well-known in the region.
Sources say that the Congress has offered tickets to members of the TJAC, including its chief Kodanda Ram, to field them against TRS leaders.
However, the TJAC members, who have always allied with the TRS in the battle for Telangana, are yet to give the Congress a positive response.
It appears as though the Congress has given up hope of an alliance or merger with the TRS.
TRS chief, K Chandrasekhar Rao, was thought to be bargaining for more with the Congress when he rejected the offer to merge. He now seems serious about fighting the elections alone, as he is confident of a TRS wave in Telangana.
At first there was talk of him fighting the assembly elections alone and allying with the Congress at the national scenario. However, he has changed his mind, stating that the Congress has no chance of coming to power at the Centre.
Chandrasekhar Rao also seems to be leaning towards the BJP, but both the BJP and the TRS say there has been no talk of an alliance. The BJP would prefer to wait before it makes any move or commitment to the TRS.
TRS sources say that KCR is extremely upset with the Congress. He was not assured of being made chief minister and Congress taking away some TRS leaders has not gone down too well with him.
KCR, who had once called Sonia Gandhi, mother, and had assured her of a merger, has gone back on his word. He did convey this to his cadres at a meeting that he would have to keep his word. But his cadre was against a merger and even said that getting into an alliance would be a bad idea. KCR had no choice but to accept the majority view of his party cadres.
Similarly, the Telugu Desam Party too is dillydallying on an alliance with the BJP. The TDP which was part of the NDA in 1999 feels that it should fight the elections alone. During its last meeting N Chandrababu Naidu told his cadre his desire to ally with the BJP. But the party cadre was against it and told him that allying with the BJP would mean supporting a party that helped clear the Telangana Bill. At the moment there is a lot of anger against the Congress and the BJP in Rayalseema and hence this alliance should be avoided.
The BJP on the other hand is also under a lot of pressure from its Telangana members who have said that they would resign if the TDP alliance went through. The Andhra Pradesh BJP chief, Kishen Reddy, even met with Narendra Modi on the issue. The word is that Modi had told him he prefers to await the outcome of the result before allying with any party. It is always better to ally with a party that gets more votes rather than ally with one party and close another door.
The Congress on the other hand does not have much of a plan for Seema-Andhra, which indicates that it will be a fight between the YSR Congress Party and the TDP.
Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao