K. Venkateshwarlu

TRS chief buys peace after Telugu Desam’s tit-for-tat political action

HYDERABAD: In a tit-for-tat action, Telugu Desam made about 30 candidates file their nominations in as many Assembly constituencies on the last day on Monday where Telangana Rashtra Samiti nominees had already filed their papers.

TDP sources said the hurried but well thought out political move was aimed at hitting out at TRS which had fielded its candidates in about seven constituencies in addition to its quota of 46. This was repetition of the game it played on the Congress in 2004 when it fielded 14 candidates more than the allotted 42.

The Telugu Desam’s strategy paid off as within a few hours, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao rushed to TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s residence at 6.30 p.m. After a brief discussion, they seemed to have mutually agreed to withdraw their ‘extra’ candidates. This was announced by TDP leader Kodela Sivaprasada Rao.

His announcement preceded a day-long high drama that began with TDP getting wind of TRS’ move. It rushed B forms in cars with messengers to distant places while calling those in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy district to party office to collect them. Despite the alacrity with which the party machinery acted, about eight candidates could not get the B form in time and they missed the bus while 22 others did file them.

Even as these fast-paced developments took place in so many constituencies across Telangana that shocked the TRS leadership, both parties’ official reaction was on expected lines. While senior TDP leader Ummareddy Venkateswarlu claimed that the party had not issued any B forms and would persuade those who have filed to withdraw, TRS leader T. Harish Rao too said he had no such information.

But some of the TDP candidates like P. L. Srinivas confirmed that it was on the party’s instruction at 1.20 p.m. that he had filed the papers from Sanatnagar Assembly segment from city just about beating the deadline of 3 p.m. He went on to justify the party’s decision saying it was necessary as the TRS had fielded weak candidates in several constituencies.

The candidates’ open admission that they did so in constituencies where TRS candidates were weak revealed that the party had other aces up its sleeve. It was being pointed out as Mr. Naidu’s way of getting back at Mr. Rao who remained stubborn and not heeding to his suggestion to change candidates, especially in South Telanagana region.

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