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Parties go alliance shopping in Telangana

May 09, 2014 11:53 IST

Both the TRS and Congress are desperately looking for alliances to form the first government in Telangana. However, the last resort for both of them will be to join hands, reports Vicky Nanjappa.

With indications of a possible hung verdict in Telangana, both the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and the Congress are looking for allies. Although the Congress and the TRS may end up together in case they have no other choice, for now both are in a mad rush to ensure that they form the first government in the newly-carved-out state.

The TRS, which appears to have a slight edge over its rivals, says it is open for any alliance. TRS leader Keshava Rao says their objective is to form the first government in Telangana without the Congress.

“Let us see how things shape up in the days to come and we are ready to seek or give support to parties that help us form the first government,” Rao told Rediff.com.

The TRS also plans that if need be it’ll take the support of the Bharatiya Janata Party to form the government in Telangana, and in turn will back the BJP in Centre.

The BJP too has an open mind on the TRS, and like in Seemandhra it will be ready to dump the Telugu Desam Party if the TRS’s numbers are impressive.

However, if the TRS tries to garner the support of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, its chances of teaming up with the BJP will be restricted.

The TRS would like to have the support of a smaller party in the state and ally with a national party at the Centre. This is primarily because allying with the MIM or any smaller party, which could provide it eight to 10 seats, would strengthen its position.

But the BJP is adamant that an alliance will work out only if the MIM is kept at bay.

The Congress too is hunting for alliances. The grand old party wants to be a part of the first government in Telangana at any cost as it feels that the entire exercise of granting statehood will be lost in vain if it is kept out of the government.

After all, the Congress granted Telangana as it realised it had lost Seemaandhra to the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party.

The Congress too is looking to the MIM for support. A meeting of the Telangana Congress leaders such as Ponnala Lakshmaiah and MIM leaders have already taken place. The Congress is also meeting with the Communist Party of India in this regard.

However, for both the TRS and the Congress, an ally such as the CPI or the MIM is fine only if they fall short by a very small margin of eight to 10 seats. The MIM can realistically take seven seats in the Telangana assembly. The CPI, on the other hand, contested seven assembly and one Lok Sabha seat. They are hopeful of winning at least three.

In case either of these parties fall short by 20, then the Congress and the TRS would have no option but to ally with each other.

This would be the final agreement after each and every option is exhausted, leaders from both the parties say.

While this alliance may install a government in Telangana, there is expected to be a big fight over the post of chief minister.

The TRS says there is nothing wrong in asking for the post of CM as they are the ones who have fought for the cause more than the Congress.

But the Congress feels that the post of chief minister should fall into the lap of the larger alliance partner and it could be on a sharing basis too.

The attitude of both the TRS and the Congress gives an indication, that neither of the parties is very confident of forming a government on its own.

For public consumption both parties say they will sweep the elections but in their hearts they suspect that they may fall short.

Image: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao

 

Vicky Nanjappa