After loss in Telangana, many Congress leaders want to end alliance with TDP

Rumblings of discontent have begun to surface within the Congress against the continuation of the grand alliance the party formed with three others ahead of the December 7 assembly elections in Telangana.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) swept the polls winning 88 out of 119 seats. The Congress won 19 out of the 100 seats it contested. Its alliance partner, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), won two seats. The other allies, the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI) could not win any seats.

A Congress leader said many within his party believe the alliance with the TDP did more harm than good. “It was initially thought that TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s campaign would help attract votes of the (Andhra) settlers,’’ he said on condition of anonymity.

Congress leader and former MP Vijayashanti said her party should have contested the elections alone. “I cautioned against forging an alliance with the TDP, as the people of Telangana are still opposed to Naidu,’’ she said referring to Andhra CM’s opposition to Telangana’s creation. “But it was the high command’s decision to go for the alliance. Now, we should be cautious.”

The Congress’ Telangana campaign committee chairman, Malli Bhatti Vikramarka, underlined the alliance was only for the assembly elections. “We cannot say now whether the alliance will continue. The party high command will take a call,” he said.

TJS president M Kodandaram said the party would decide on whether to continue with the alliance when the need arises. CPI state secretary. Chada Venkat Reddy, blamed the Congress’s delay in concluding the seat-sharing deal for the debacle.

The TDP is optimistic the alliance will continue. “I do not see any reason why the experiment should fizzle out. The TDP, TJS and CPI leaders attended the swearing-in ceremonies of Congress chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,’’ said Telangana TDP general secretary Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy. “That shows we are still united.”

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First Published: Dec 18, 2018 07:13 IST

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