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Updated: March 14, 2014 03:09 IST

Parties play waiting game on poll pacts

B. Chandrashekhar
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Every party is looking out for tie-ups to make gains from its partner’s popularity

Constituency watch: Andhra Pradesh

The forthcoming general elections are throwing up greater prospects for poll alliances, as the bifurcation of the State has opened up avenues for combinations and permutations.

In a clear indication of realignment of political forces, almost every political party that has stakes in the State is looking out for an alliance or understanding to make gains from its partner’s popularity and vote-bank.

There are no takers for the Congress’ hand of friendship in Seemandhra in spite of the party looking out for a promising partner. In Telangana, where the party is on a perceivably strong wicket for fulfilling the nearly six-decade-old dream of the region’s people for statehood, it remains confused.

The party’s north Telangana leaders are favouring an alliance with the TRS because of the latter’s strong base there, but their south Telangana colleagues are against any alliance owing to the poor presence of the TRS there.

Nevertheless, the Congress high command is keeping a channel of communication with the TRS open. After ruling out merger with the Congress, the TRS leadership is keen on allying with the ruling party knowing well its weakness in at least half of Telangana. However, its ambition to play the big-brother’s role is getting increasingly unpalatable to the Congress.

“We want to contest majority Assembly seats so that we can play a key role in rebuilding Telangana,” TRS politburo member B. Vinod Kumar said.

The party is also in informal talks with the MIM and the CPI with an eye on minorities and trade union vote. Sources told The Hindu that the party is also preparing for a solo run in case it fails to work out an alliance.

Former government Chief Whip Gandra Venkataramana Reddy said that in the event of a tie-up, sitting members in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha would retain their seats.

“The remaining seats will have to be shared in a mutually-agreeable proportion,” he added.

Meanwhile, the main Opposition TDP is in the final stages of sealing a deal with the BJP.

“Our leadership has taken the decision keeping in mind benefits from the ‘Modi factor’ in spite of apprehensions expressed in the party about losing votes of a section of the minorities,” a senior TDP leader from Telangana said.

Riding a perceptible wave of popularity, the YSRC is perhaps the only party that is not too keen on poll alliances. However, it is in talks with the CPI (M) to cement its position in some pockets of Telangana where the influence of the Telangana movement is relatively less and the presence of Seemandhra population is considerable.

Among the emerging parties, the Lok Satta, which had literally played spoilsport for the TDP in several Assembly constituencies in 2009 elections, is seeking a pact with the like-minded Aam Aadmi Party to reach out to the young and educated lot who are on a high moral pedestal.

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