Congress, TRS Wait and Watch as TD, BJP Wrangle - The New Indian Express

Congress, TRS Wait and Watch as TD, BJP Wrangle

Published: 03rd April 2014 08:38 AM

Last Updated: 04th April 2014 04:19 PM

The protracted seat-sharing talks between the TDP and the BJP continued Wednesday with both the sides sticking to their guns. The BJP is insisting on not only a good number of seats in both Seemandhra and Telangana but also its choice of seats — it wants Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kakinada, Narsapur, Tirupati and Rajahmundry Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra and Chevella, Mahbubnagar and Malkajgiri among others in Telangana.

However, the TDP is not willing to part with the same. Sources told Express that soon after a national TV channel aired a poll survey on Tuesday night showing an upswing for the yellow party in Seemandhra, the party hardened its stance in talks with the BJP. In fact, TDP leaders who were to meet Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley late Tuesday didn’t turn up for the meeting. The BJP too, on its part, is firm on its demands. On Wednesday, while TDP’s Telangana leader E Dayakar Rao claimed that a poll pact with the BJP has been sealed, saffron party leader Lakshminarayana disputed his claims in Delhi and said no deal has been struck yet. It is learnt that if both the sides agree on Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry, an announcement on the poll alliance would be made Thursday.

The TDP politburo meeting, which is slated for Thursday afternoon, is likely to announce the same. BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, who is playing a key role in the talks, is likely to land in Hyderabad on Thursday for the announcement. Meanwhile, the Congress and the TRS seem to have decided to wait and watch for the TDP-BJP alliance to take shape and decide their future course of action. TPCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah, while blasting TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday, however, let it be known that his party was still interested in an alliance with the pink party. He said his party was ready for negotiations and even suggested that both could chalk out a ‘common minimum programme.’

The reasoning of the Congress and the TRS seems to be that if the TDP and BJP do strike a deal, the combine could bag enough number of seats in Telangana to make or break the government — as per latest surveys, the TRS and Congress are neck and neck and neither may get a majority.

Sources said a TRS-Congress alliance is still on the table and hinges on the TDP-BJP talks. The inordinate delay in finalising the Congress list of candidates for Telangana, the sources said, shows that the ruling party is still waiting for a possible tie-up with the TRS.

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