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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

BJP-TDP dialogue took an ugly turn before nearing deal

Prasad Nichenametla, Hindustan Times  Hyderabad, April 01, 2014
First Published: 00:04 IST(1/4/2014) | Last Updated: 09:12 IST(1/4/2014)

The Bharatiya Janata Party-Telegu Desam Party alliance talks seemed to have come out of the deadlock on the Telugu new-year day, Ugadi, on Monday.

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The two parties want to tie up for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections to be held simultaneously in the state in two phases – April 30 in Telangana and May 7 in Seemandhra.

 Though both the parties had been keen for a long time on forming an alliance, the impasse was over the number of seats the BJP wanted to contest in Telangana and Seemandhra, which the TDP, a major player in Andhra Pradesh, termed absurd.

The saffron party’s state unit demanded at least nine Parliament seats (a comedown from the initial 12) of the 17 seats in Telangana and five of the 25 seats in Seemandhra. They also wanted to contest 60 of the 119 assembly constituencies in Telangana and 25 of the 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra.

With the TDP not in agreement, Telangana BJP chief Kishan Reddy — who had been opposing the alliance for the beginning — even stated two days ago that his party would contest alone.

“The BJP leaders should realise their strength in Andhra Pradesh. Do they have the capacity to fight effectively and enough candidates? They are posturing, but we would work out a middle path,” a TDP leader told HT.

After several rounds of negotiations in Hyderabad, the talks shifted to New Delhi. On Monday, the parties, it is understood, had inched closer to announcing a pact. But sources here were not sure whether there was any final accord on seat sharing.

The TDP, which was earlier willing to give six-seven Parliament seats and 30-35 assembly seats in Telangana and four Parliament and about 15 assembly seats in Seemandhra, has now made a better offer to the BJP.

According a TDP leader, the BJP could contest in eight Parliament and 45 assembly seats in Telangana and four-five Parliament and up to 15 assembly seats in Seemandhra.


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