HYDERABAD: It’s official. Telangana Telugu Desam Party (TTDP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) have joined hands in an attempt to fight the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi, that has almost become a political juggernaut in the State. The two parties, whose parties couldn’t have more different ideologies — one which banks on Telugu pride and the other on communism — came together to ‘remove TRS from power’.
Speaking to media persons at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad, CPI - Telangana General Secretary Chada Venkatreddy said that their ‘grand alliance’ was the need of the hour as Telangana could no longer allow K Chandrasekhar Rao to be Chief Minister again. “If KCR becomes CM again, it will be an injustice to the people of this State. We felt that there was a need for an alliance,” said Venkatreddy.
TTDP’s uphill battle for relevance
After TRS supremo KCR dissolved the elections on September 6, paving the road for early elections, the TTDP began looking at possible alliance partners. It may be noted that the party managed to win only 15 seats in the 2014 Assembly elections. Most of these MLAs later defected to other parties — one of its most popular leaders, Kodangal MLA Revanth Reddy, joined the Congress. The party, which is trying to battle many tags such as ‘party for settlers’ and ‘Andhra party’, finally decided to go with CPI as its first ally, possibly with more to follow.
“K Chandrasekhar Rao has no ethical or moral values. He won 63 seats in the 2014 elections but later increased his party’s strength to 91. Not just our members, he seduced members of CPI, BSP, YSRCP, and Congress. With such a person at the helm, we have no option but to form alliances,” TTDP President L Ramana said. The meeting was held hours after TTDP leadership announced election coordination and manifesto committees.
TTDP’s immediate goals will be to regain its stronghold among the Andhra Pradesh settlers in the State. As a revenge of sorts, the party hopes to defeat the twelve former MLAs that defected from the party, most of whom that had won in areas like Qutubullahpur, Sanathnagar and Kukatpally, which they have historically had a good base. As for Revanth Reddy’s Kondangal might not work out for the party as his current party, the Congress, might also be a possible alliance partner.
It is learnt that, as part of the seat-sharing agreement, the CPI is likely to contest from Khammam, Bhadradri Kothagudem and Nalgonda, where it is said to have a strong presence. “We are not particular about contesting the most number of seats. We only want to contest in constituencies where we have a sure shot of winning,” said Venkatreddy.
TJS to be part of alliance?
The founder of TJS and Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman Professor M Kodandaram is also set to ally with the two parties. Presiding over the TTDP’s election coordination committee, L Ramana along with Devender Goud is set to meet Kodandaram on Monday for talks on a likely alliance. “Talks are on with TJS president M Kodandaram,” said Chada Venkatreddy, General Secretary, CPI - Telangana. Interestingly, though the TTDP has been vocal on allying with like-minded parties, whenever asked about the Congress, Venkat Reddy said, “Alliances with the Congress as of now are speculative. We have not spoken to them yet,” he said.