Telangana unit leaders still remain divided on forging alliance

The plan to stitch up an alliance with the TDP is turning out to be a thorny affair for BJP national leadership with Telangana unit leaders insisting that the party should have the prerogative to announce the chief ministerial candidate, while the Seemandhra BJP is keen on seeking a “respectable share” in case of a tie-up.

After a gap of two days, senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, who has been deputed by the central leadership, resumed his discussions with the core committee of Telangana BJP soon after his arrival here on Thursday.

The opinion among Telangana leaders remained divided on forging an alliance as Telangana unit president G. Kishan Reddy and some others argued that the party should contest all seats on its own.

RSS functionaries from Telangana also took part in the confabulations.

It is learnt that Mr. Reddy and others, including former Union Minister Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, who have been recalcitrant, told Mr. Javadekar that a tie-up would provide a new lease of life to Telugu Desam in the region and would not be too beneficial for the BJP.

However, in an apparent ploy to bargain for more seats, they agreed that the BJP should have the say to declare the chief ministerial candidate in case the tie-up became inevitable. Even while taking up cudgels against TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu for “unilaterally” declaring that a backward class person would be made the Chief Minister, the Telangana BJP leaders were believed to have agreed that the chief ministerial candidate should be a BC.

In all, the BJP is proposing to seek 64 Assembly and 11 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana and 25 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra region.

Although Mr. Javadekar reportedly held another round of discussions with TDP Rajya Sabha members, Y. Satyanarayana Chowdhary and C.M. Ramesh, BJP sources said that they have not arrived at any conclusion. Mr. Javadekar after attending the first Seemandhra BJP State executive meeting at Vijayawada on Friday would return here to participate in the Telangana State Election Committee meeting and hold further discussions with party leaders.

When contacted, Seemandhra BJP president K. Hari Babu said that it might take another week to 10 days to finalise the first list of candidates for Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies. Asked about alliance with the TDP, he said: “If there is a respectable share, it will be there.”

Meanwhile, a senior TDP leader, who was privy to the talks, said the leaders of both parties were fine-tuning issues like number of seats to be shared and expressed confidence that the deal would be clinched.

Finally, the top brass of BJP leadership might intervene to bring about a consensus on the alliance issue among Telangana leaders, indicated a senior leader.