Special Correspondent

Takes the line it is an act of sacrifice to accommodate allies

Keshava Rao says the party is adopting liberal attitude despite being the ruling partyCPI leader asks Congress leadership to take a decision on allotting ZP seat

HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president K. Keshava Rao has defended the party's decision to offer one of the two zilla parishads demanded by the CPI(M) claiming that the "party has come forward to sacrifice its seat to adjust its allies."

Flexible approach

Speaking to reporters after holding discussions with party leaders of Khammam and Nalgonda districts on Sunday, he said the Congress adopted a "very liberal, open and broadminded" attitude in offering the zilla parishad to allies in spite of being the ruling party and the survey reports in favour of the party.

The Congress had demonstrated its flexibility by offering 50 per cent more ZPTCs to the CPI(M) than its existing strength in the two districts.

"We don't mind offering them one more ZPTC too," he said after convincing the reluctant district leaders. The PCC president had to do a lot of convincing about the "valuable bond between the CPI(M) and the Congress, both here and at the Centre" when he met the Nalgonda and Khammam leaders.

Meets party leaders

Later, meeting seniors in his party, Dr. Keshava Rao said the party should adopt an "inclusive policy and take the CPI(M), too, along with it."

He agreed that Nalgonda and Khammam were contentious districts as far as seat sharing was concerned but suggested a "give and take" alternative.

CPI State secretary K. Narayana wanted the Congress' State leadership to take a decision on allotting Khammam or Nalgonda to it instead of entrusting the responsibility to the district units.

"We are hopeful that the Congress will respond positively to our request," he said.