Hyderabad: Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Telugu Desam Party supremo and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will address three public meetings together in Khammam and Hyderabad on Wednesday. The leaders will campaign together as their parties are part of an alliance formed to take on the (Telangana’s caretaker chief minister) K. Chandrasekhar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
This will be a first for both parties, as the TDP was formed on an anti-Congress platform in 1982 by its founder and former AP chief minister N. T. Rama Rao.
Gandhi and Naidu will first address a meeting at Khammam district, followed by two more at Ameerpet and Namaplly in Hyderabad. This is the first time also that the two top leaders will be seen together on stage in Telangana as part of the alliance’s campaign. The alliance also includes the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).
The meetings were preceded by the release of the alliance’s ‘People’s Manifesto’ on Monday by leaders from all four parties in Hyderabad. TJS president M. Kondandaram is also expected to participate and address the meetings along with Gandhi and Naidu. In the upcoming polls, the Congress is contesting 99 seats, TDP 13, TJS 8 and the CPI 3 out of the total 119 seats, as part of the electoral understanding among the alliance partners.
However, the TJS and Congress have “friendly fights" in eight constituencies. The joint address by Naidu and Gandhi will also be a test for the TDP to see if it can win seats in constituencies dominated by settlers from the neighbouring AP.