TRS set to join TDP-Left alliance in Andhra Pradesh

January 6th, 2009 - 12:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilHyderabad, Jan 6(IANS) The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) appears all set to join the ‘grand alliance’, headed by Andhra Pradesh’s main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and including the Left parties, for the ensuing elections to the assembly and the Lok Sabha.In a move that could change political equations in the state, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao said his party had come closer to the TDP-led alliance. The Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are the other partners in the ‘grand alliance’, which has already set the alarm bells ringing in the ruling Congress party.

KCR, as the TRS leader is popularly known, told reporters at his residence Monday night that a joint announcement on the electoral alliance would be made after the Sankranti festival next week. Also present were leaders of the TDP, the CPI and the CPI-M.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu, CPI state secretary K. Narayana and CPI-M leader B.V. Raghavulu dropped at KCR’s residence while returning from Rashtrapati Nilayam, where they submitted a joint memorandum to President Pratibha Patil on corruption charges against the Congress government.

Earlier, the TRS leader had driven to Naidu’s house, indicating that their alliance was more or less finalised. It was a significant move by KCR as the two leaders have been bitter rivals since he quit the TDP in 2001 to revive the movement for separate statehood to the Telangana region.

“I am happy to meet Mr Naidu as we worked together in TDP for 20 years. Now the time has come for both the parties to work together. We will soon make a joint statement,” KCR said.

Senior Congress leaders from Telangana have warned the party leadership that this would prove costly to them in the elections.

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

The sub-regional party, 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 the Congress of going back on its promise to carve out a separate state.

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

TRS sources said the party decided to sail with the TDP as the Congress had failed to make a clear commitment on Telangana. The CPI has already supported Telangana while CPI-M is also reportedly in the process of reviewing its stand.

Actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party is also in favour of a separate Telangana, but the TRS has decided against having an alliance with the fledgling party in view of its limited influence in Telangana region.

The ensuing elections are scheduled to be held in April-May.

The Telangana region sends 119 legislators to the 294-member state assembly and also accounts for 16 out of 42 Lok Sabha members from the state. TRS sources said the party was hoping to contest at least 50 percent of the seats in the region under the alliance with TDP and left parties.

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