The Congress is not too keen on postponing elections in either Seema-Andhra or Telangana, as it wants to milk the maximum possible political mileage from the creation of the new state, says Vicky Nanjappa
Telangana is only a few formalities away from becoming a reality.
Assembly elections are likely to be held in the newly formed state and neighbouring Seema-Andhra in April/May, along with the Lok Sabha elections.
Botsa Sathyanarayana, senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh, recently told the party high command that it would be better to postpone the assembly elections by six months.
The party needs some time, believes Sathyanarayana, to revive itself in Seema-Andhra, which is seething with anger over the division of the state.
But the Congress is not too keen on postponing elections in either Seema-Andhra or Telangana, as it wants to milk the maximum possible political mileage from the creation of the new state.
Public memory is notoriously short and six months later other issues may obliterate the euphoria over Telangana, believe Congress’s senior leaders.
The party is not upbeat about its electoral prospects in Seema-Andhra where YRS Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy has a considerable fan following.
To score the maximum number of electoral runs in Telangana, the Congress may need to forge an alliance with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti for both the assembly and the Lok Sabha polls.
Many pro-Telangana activists believe that India’s 29th state is about to become a reality only because of the tireless campaign by the TRS.
Earlier, the TRS had, in principle, agreed to a working arrangement with the Congress during the elections. The Congress had insisted on a merger as it did not want a parallel political force in Telangana.
But TRS chief K Chandrasekara Rao was wary about such an arrangement as he feared that he would have no say in the party after a few years.
Congress leader Madhu Yaskhi Goud and TRS leader K T Rama Rao claim that it is too early to discuss electoral alliances between the two parties.
While Congress leader Jaipal Reddy is the frontrunner for the chief minister’s post in Telangana, the TRS wants one of its own leaders to take over the top post.
In spite of their differences, both the Congress and the TRS realise that they need to remain united in Telangana to thwart the aspirations of a third political front in the region.
Both parties will have to settle for certain compromises.
The Congress is likely to insist on having the lion’s share of seats in the assembly polls and the party may concede the majority of seats to the TRS for the Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, the grand old party still seems to be looking for a strategy in Seema-Andhra.
Congress leaders want assembly polls in the divided state to be delayed for as long as possible, so that the anger against the ruling party, over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, dies down to some extent.
Delayed state assembly elections will allow the Congress to perform slightly better in Seema-Andhra.
Image: Pro-Telangana activists celebrate the formation of a new state ' Photograph: SnapsIndia