‘Chandrababu Naidu not responsible’: Telangana Congress chief on assembly poll defeat
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‘Chandrababu Naidu not responsible’: Telangana Congress chief on assembly poll defeat

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi swept back to power in the December 7 elections, winning 88 seats in the 119-member assembly, while the Congress, which led a front comprising the TDP, the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi, came far behind with 19.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2018 17:53 IST
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Telangana assembly elections,Telangana election results,Congress
Congress President Rahul Gandhi with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu during a public meeting ahead of the December 7 Telangana assembly elections (File Photo)(PTI)

Congress’ Telangana unit president N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Friday gave a clean chit to Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the defeat of Maha Kootami or People’s Front in the state assembly elections.

In an informal interaction with media on the sidelines of 134th celebrations of the Congress foundation day at Gandhi Bhavan, he said Naidu was not responsible for the defeat of the People’s Front in the assembly elections.

“I don’t think Naidu’s campaign in the elections was the reason for the debacle. However, it would have been better if the seat sharing among the alliance partners was completed a little earlier, rather than at the eleventh hour,” he said.

Reddy’s statement came in the wake of the comments made by various Congress leaders including party’s star campaigner and former MP Vijayashanti that the alliance with the TDP had caused immense damage to the Congress. State campaign committee chairman and MLA Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka also said the Congress would take a decision on continuing the alliance with the TDP in the coming elections in the wake of the Telangana poll debacle.

Reddy also said the Congress would soon take a decision on whether or not to continue the People’s Front in the coming days. “We shall take a call on the alliance after discussing with the AICC in-charge of Telangana affairs R C Khuntia,” he said.

He said there were various other reasons for the electoral defeat. “We are making a thorough review of the same by talking to all the party candidates. We submitted a preliminary report to the high command and a final report will be sent in three or four days,” Reddy said.

Reddy alleged that there were large scale irregularities in the conduct of recent assembly elections. “There is a huge difference in the number of polled votes and counted votes. In several places, where the Congress had lost narrowly, the polling officials refused to count the slips of VVPAT machines. In Jubilee Hills constituency, for instance, the voter slips from VVPAT machines were removed. In Mancherial, thousands of votes were polled even after the closure of polling hours. On whose directions the returning officers were acting? In spite of repeated complaints, the election commission has not responded,” he alleged.

He exuded the confidence that the Congress would perform better in Lok Sabha elections.

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi swept back to power in the December 7 elections, winning 88 seats in the 119-member assembly, while the Congress, which led a front comprising the TDP, the Communist Party of India and the Telangana Jana Samithi, came far behind with 19.

First Published: Dec 28, 2018 16:56 IST