The Grand Alliance in Andhra Pradesh is back on its feet.
A day after it seemed all was over for the group, a meeting was called at Telegu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu’s residence, where leaders of all four constituents — the TDP, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), CPI and CPM — gathered. They realised the predicament of friendly contests, which would have spilt the anti-Congress votes, and decided to stick together.
On Monday, the alliance was teetering on the brink of collapse after the TDP fielded candidates from seats given to TRS.
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, TRS boss K. Chandrasekhar Rao, CPI state secretary K. Narayana and his CPM counterpart B.V. Raghavulu (in pic) issued a joint statement saying “all problems relating to the seat-sharing arrangement have been sorted out”.
Sources in TDP circles said the leaders had a freewheeling meeting at Naidu’s residence, at the end of which it was decided that all candidates belonging to the TDP, TRS and CPM would withdraw from the seats allotted to others and respect the agreement in toto. Naidu directed his partymen, who had filed nominations in 25 seats belonging to the TRS, CPM and CPI, to withdraw from the race.
The breakthrough was achieved after CPM central leaders intervened. The state unit was miffed with the allotment of 14 assembly seats and refused to attend the meet.
The four leaders claimed that all differences had been resolved. “Now we will focus on campaigning jointly with the single aim of defeating the Congress,” Naidu said.
The CPM, which was unhappy with its number of seats, was mollified by Naidu, who agreed to leave them two more seats.