The Grand Alliance of four Opposition parties led by the Telugu Desam (TDP) is intact in Andhra Pradesh, but the party appears to have paid a heavy price for it.
Although there is no announcement yet, sources said the TDP and the Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) have finally reached an understanding, ending the impasse over seat-sharing.
Only twenty-four hours ago, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao had threatened to pull out if his demands were not met. The TDP — the dominant partner — then agreed to leave nine Lok Sabha and 48 assembly seats to it, meeting the Telangana-centric party’s demand.
The TDP has also reached an agreement with the CPI and CPI(M), the two other partners. Both will get 16 assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats each.
In the bargain, the TDP seems to have come a cropper.
In 2004, these parties, then Congress allies, had secured less number of seats: the TRS had 42 assembly and six Lok Sabha seats; the CPI(M), 14 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat; and the CPI 12 assembly and one Lok Sabha seat.
Moreover, the TDP in 2004, had contested all 294 assembly seats and 42 Lok Sabha seats alone. This had increased its chances of winning more seats and thus having more influence on propelling a party to the centrestage in Delhi.
In Telangana, too, this arrangement fails the TDP. It gets to contest only four out of 17 Lok Sabha and 54 of the 119 assembly seats. But so desperate is the TDP to come to power in the state, that it is willing to go to any length.
But its workers in the region are upset. E. Dayakar Rao, chief negotiator of the TRS-TDP talks has lost his seat — Palakurthy in Warangal district — to the TRS. Another sitting MLA joined Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party.
TDP leaders accused Naidu of surrendering to the TRS blackmail and warned it would be suicidal for their party.
“Earlier, the TDP played a major role in forming the government at the Centre because of its strength in Lok sabha. The party is contesting less Lok sabha seats this time, which will further curtail its role at the national level,” said K. Sriram, a party activist.