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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Telangana to witness fight between ‘frenemies’ Congress and TJS
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Telangana to witness fight between ‘frenemies’ Congress and TJS

Both Congress and TJS have, in fact, filed more nominations than the number they had originally decided

TJS chief M.Kodandaram.TwitterPremium
TJS chief M.Kodandaram.Twitter

Hyderabad: In spite of being part of the grand alliance in Telangana, the Congress and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) are all set to face each other in “friendly fights" in about half a dozen constituencies in the upcoming 7 December elections. Both parties have, in fact, filed more nominations than the number they had originally decided.

The Congress, which had officially released names of 94 candidates earlier, has given tickets to 100, while the TJS has filed 14 nominations instead of the eight seats it was allotted. Senior leaders from both parties, while agreeing that this will have a negative impact on the alliance’s winning chances, hoped that a few candidates from both sides will withdraw their nominations. The last date for filing nominations was 19 November, while names can be withdrawn by 22 November.

“The TJS is definitely part of the alliance and though its vote share won’t be much, it can act as the deciding factor (in some seats). Its president Prof. M. Kodandaram will also add face value for the grand alliance. About the nominations they have filed, we leave it to them to decide," said Gudur Narayana Reddy, treasurer, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee. He was confident that the alliance will win between 72 to 80 seats in the 119-member state assembly.

The Congress, TJS, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have stitched up an alliance to take on caretaker chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The TDP and CPI have settled for 13 and 3 seats, respectively. The TDP was earlier promised 14 seats, but one has been retained by the Congress.

“Earlier there was no clarity on the number of seats that were allotted. We are entering into negotiations and we might withdraw nominations after discussions. You will have to know which ones till the last date for withdrawal," said Kodandaram, adding that the TJS can bring in legitimacy to the alliance, given that many of its leaders have activist back ground. “We have a lot of goodwill."

Compounding the situation are rebel candidates from the Congress, who were called for day-long meetings by senior party leaders who tried to placate them. A senior Congress leader, who did not want to be quoted, said that about 70% of the rebels, including children of prominent candidates who have been given tickets, have been assured of important posts if the alliance comes to power. He added that the Congress might also withdraw one nomination out the 100 it has filed.

“The Congress doesn’t need TJS as such, but only the face of Prof. Kodandaram. KCR now has an opportunity to attack the former, saying that the grand old party does not stick to its word and he might even say that in his rallies. And the TRS will have a weapon if at all Prof. Kodandaram actually leaves the alliance, as there will be a trust deficit factor," said political analyst Palwai Raghavendra Reddy.

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Published: 20 Nov 2018, 11:45 PM IST
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