TRS joins opposition ‘grand alliance’ in Andhra Pradesh (Lead)

January 31st, 2009 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 31 (IANS) In a major re-alignment of political forces in Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Saturday joined the ‘grand alliance’ of opposition parties.The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is the major partner in the ‘grand alliance’, which also has Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) as the other constituents.

Ending the suspense over which grouping it would join, the TRS made a formal announcement that it would go along with TDP and the Left parties to take on the ruling Congress party and others in the coming elections.

Praja Rajyam Party of actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi and its ally, Nava Telangana Party were also trying to woo the TRS.

However, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao finally decided to join the ‘grand alliance’. He reached the residence of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and made the announcement at a news conference.

KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, had indicated Jan 5 that his party would join the ‘grand alliance’ but the seat sharing talks hit a road block with TDP reportedly rejecting his demand for 10 Lok Sabha and 50 assembly seats.

After several rounds of talks between the two parties over the last 10 days, the issue was resolved.

Though KCR said the details of seat sharing would be announced later, TDP sources confirmed that Naidu has agreed to leave 10 Lok Sabha and 46 assembly seats for TRS, which is fighting for separate statehood to the Telangana region.

The Telangana region sends 119 legislators to the 294-member state assembly and it also accounts for 16 out of 42 Lok Sabha members from the state.

TDP, which opposed bifurcation of the state since its inception, took a U-turn recently to back the demand for separate Telangana state, paving the way for the alliance with TRS.

“Mahakutami (grand alliance) will win over 200 seats in the coming elections,” said the TRS chief.

“It is a historic development aimed at putting an end to the misrule of the Congress party. The grand alliance will crush the ruling party,” said Naidu while welcoming the decision of TRS.

This was the second visit by KCR to the residence of Naidu this month. The two leaders were engaged in bitter rivalry ever since KCR quit TDP in 2001 to revive the movement for a separate state.

TRS had fought 2004 elections in alliance with Congress party. CPI and CPI-M were the other partners of the Congress-led alliance which wrested power from TDP.

TRS, which bagged 26 seats in the state assembly and five Lok Sabha seats, joined Congress-led coalition governments both in the state and at the centre. It, however, pulled out of the coalitions, accusing Congress party of going back on its promise to carve out a separate state.

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