Telangana’s Grand Alliance under strain as parties violate seat sharing deal
Chaos reigned supreme in the People’s Front, or Maha Kootami, as the grand alliance of four opposition parties in Telangana is known, with one party fielding its official candidates in constituencies allotted to the other alliance partners. Telangana will go to polls on December 7.
With nominations coming to a close on Monday, the Congress party, which is supposed to contest 94 out of 119 constituencies, gave the “B” forms to six more candidates in the constituencies allotted to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).
These six candidates were apart from the party’s rebel candidates who have filed their nominations as independents in several constituencies.
For instance, in Ibrahimpatnam constituency in Ranga Reddy district, Congress named former MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy as its official candidate early on Monday. The seat was originally allotted to the TDP, which has fielded its official candidate Sama Ranga Reddy.
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In Patancheru constituency in Sangareddy district, the Congress has fielded Kata Srinivas Goud, while the seat was originally allotted to the TDP. With no other option, the TDP has decided to opt out of the contest in the constituency, thereby reducing the number of seats it is contesting to 13, one down from 14.
Similarly, in Miryalguda, a seat given to the TJS, the Congress has named former TDP MLA and All India OBC Welfare Association (AIOWA) president R Krishnaiah as its candidate. Krishnaiah joined the Congress late on Sunday. The TJS has fielded its senior leader Vidyadhar Reddy from here.
In Dubbak constituency, another TJS seat, the Congress gave the “B” form to Maddula Nageshwar Reddy. The TJS has fielded its candidate Chindam Raj Kumar. In Medak, from where the TJS fielded its official candidate Janardhan Reddy, the Congress has fielded Upender Reddy.
In Warangal (East), the Congress nominated Vaddiraju Ravichandra as its candidate, though TJS has announced the candidature of Gade Innaiah as part of seat sharing.
The TJS has also fielded its candidates in Asifabad, Khanapur and Chennur which were allotted to the Congress and also in Mahbubnagar and Ashwaraopet which have been allotted to the TDP. In all, the TJS has fielded its candidates in 12 constituencies, as against the original eight seats allotted to it of which it had sacrificed the Jangaon seat to former PCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
According to a senior Congress leader who refused to be named, the party was forced to field its candidates in the constituencies allotted to the other alliance partners after they refused to back out of the contest. “Moreover, there have been reports that the candidates put up by the TJS and TDP in these constituencies are very weak and are sure to lose the polls. Hence, we fielded our candidates. It would be a friendly contest among the alliance partners of People’s Front,” he said.
TJS president M Kodandaram, who has been appointed as People’s Front convenor, said it was unfortunate that the Congress did not honour the spirit of the alliance by giving tickets to its candidates in the constituencies allotted to alliance partners.
“We hope the issue will settle down before November 22, the last date for withdrawal of nominations. In any case, it should be not be a problem for the People’s Front in its fight against the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS),” he said.
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