Details will be known in a day or two: Digvijaya Singh

The Congress is close to finalising an electoral pact with the Communist Party of India for the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies and 119 Assembly seats in Telangana. Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh told journalists on Saturday that talks were on and the details would be known in a day or two.

A sense of urgency has entered the talks as nominations for Telangana begin early next week.

Indeed, the Congress that has named its candidates for 400-odd Lok Sabha seats has been unable thus far to announce its nominees either for Telangana or the successor State of Andhra Pradesh because it has been trying hard to get an alliance partner.

A top Congress source admitted that things were “in a mess” for the party not just in the Seemandhara region — that had opposed the division of Andhra Pradesh — but also in Telangana, where the party had hoped to have an electoral arrangement with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). In the end, the TRS, banking on the critical role that it played in the creation of Telangana, has decided to go it alone.

This means the new State is likely to face a three-cornered contest: TRS vs. Congress vs. Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Now as the TDP moves closer to aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress hopes to tie up with the CPI.

Thus far, it looks as though CPI may contest 10 to 12 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat. Earlier in the week, when the CPI released its manifesto here, general secretary Sudhkar Reddy, responding to a question, said the party had left it to its State unit to work out the details. To a question how parties, currently part of two separate formations, could have an alliance, he said the talks on an alliance with the Congress commenced after a request was made by the State unit to consider Telangana as a “peculiar” case.

The CPI had initially given a list of the seats it wishes to contest both to the TRS and the Congress. Talks with the TRS failed, so the CPI continued its conversation with the Congress