Staff Reporter

Talks likely in a day or two

CPI (M) tentatively decides to field candidates for 10 ZPTC, 160 MPTC seats CPI(M) leader says ties with the Congress are not altogether broken

VIJAYAWADA: With the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) agreeing on understanding for local body elections, the district units of the parties are busy chalking out their election strategies.

Both parties seem to have realised the certainty of local equations dictating their alignments rather than a common policy.

The district units of the TDP and the CPI (M) have made no secret of their desire to make electoral adjustments at mandal and Assembly constituency levels so that they are able to affect the ruling Congress party's interests. Amidst the din over realignment of forces, the Telugu Desam Party and the CPI (M) leaderships are all set to discuss the scope for electoral adjustments in a day or two.

The CPI (M) candidates have begun filing nominations without waiting for forging a formal alliance with any party.

As there are positive signals from the TeluguDesam Party, the leaders of the CPI (M) indicate the possibility of its having understanding with that party. However, pending an understanding with the Telugu Desam Party, the CPI (M) has decided to field its candidates in 10 ZPTC and 160 MPTC seats in the district.

CPI-Congress ties

"We have taken this decision as part of a policy. Changes can be made as per seat adjustments later. Local level talks with the TDP will begin soon," says CPI (M) district secretary Uma Maheswara Rao.

He says ties with the Congress are not altogether broken, but the ruling party is stated to have expressed reservations over the developments in Khammam and Nalgonda districts. Here, the CPI (M) and the Telugu Desam Party have already worked out a mechanism to jointly fight the elections.

As withdrawal of nominations extends up to June 21, the parties are going ahead with filing nominations for as many seats as possible. Once they reach an understanding, the `mutually-agreed-upon' choice will remain in the fray while others will withdraw. Telugu Desam Party district president Ambati Brahmanaiah says instructions have come from party's State leadership to allow local party leaders to reach understandings at `mandal' and Assembly constituency levels. "It is clear that there will be no common manifesto. So we depend mostly on local leaders to decide the electoral understandings," he says.

Mr. Brahmanaiah says that the issue of selecting party candidate for Zilla Parishad chairman's post is left to the party's state leadership.