Telangana polls: Kodandaram’s TJS joins Congress-led grand alliance
The ‘Maha Kootami’ (grand alliance in Telugu) formed by the Congress, TDP and CPI received fillip on Friday with Prof M Kodandaram-floated Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) joining it after talks with the constituents the night before.
“We are joining the grand alliance following talks with the Congress, Telangana TDP and CPI leaders on Thursday night,” Kodandaram, a former Osmania University professor and a key leader of the Telangana statehood movement, said.
“We have proposed that the alliance should be formed on the basis of a mutually agreed programme that reflects aspirations of the Telangana movement,” he said.
Once a protégé of Telangana Rashtra Samithi president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao during the movement for separate Telangana, Prof Kodandaram had led the agitations as the chairman of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC).
However, after the TRS came to power, Kodandaram remained with the TJAC for the implementation of promises, which led to differences between him and KCR and recently, he floated the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).
Kodandaram said the alliance would work out a common minimum programme based on the agenda of Telangana martyrs who had laid down their lives for the separate state.
“This agenda should be given a legal status once the alliance comes to power and all the alliance partners, including the prospective chief minister should be part of the committee for the implementation of the agenda,” he said, adding that the seat sharing process would be initiated once the agenda was prepared.
The CPI(M), however, has refused to join the Grand Alliance and has announced an alliance with Jana Sena Party headed by popular actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan.
“We cannot be part of any alliance that has the Congress party in it. On the other hand, we have requested the CPI to support our alliance,” CPI(M) state secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram said.
Rahul forms screening panel to select candidates
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday appointed a three-member screening committee to select party candidates for the assembly polls.
The committee headed by Bhakth Charan Das comprises Jothimani Sennimalai and Sharmishta Mukherjee as members.
“The committee will arrive in Hyderabad on Sunday to start the screening of the list of candidates submitted by the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and submit it to the party president for approval,” a senior PCC leader said.
A delegation of the TPCC leaders led by state party president Capt N Uttam Kumar Reddy held discussions with Rahul Gandhi at the AICC war room in New Delhi over the selection of candidates and also the grand alliance formed with the TDP, CPI and TJAC.
Rahul is learnt to have suggested that seat sharing talks could be held based on the winning chances of the candidates, rather than demand from the alliance partners.
“The bottom line of the alliance formation is to defeat the TRS and the formation of a Congress government in Telangana. There is no compromise on that. Rahul felt that there is no need to sacrifice seats where the Congress has fair chances of victory. He, however, asked all party leaders not to speak on the seat sharing openly till the completion of talks,” former MP Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy said.