‘Grand alliance’ partners hold talks; CPI demands more seats

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Congress and its partners in the ‘grand alliance’ for the December 7 Assembly elections in Telangana Saturday held consultations on finalising seat sharing amid demands from the CPI to increase its share.

The ‘grand alliance’ comprises Congress, TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS).

CPI, which had expressed dissatisfaction over being offered three seats by the Congress, said it is hopeful that its demand for an increase in the share would be considered.

“It was we (CPI) who formed the alliance. Alliance will be there. We will definitely be successful in seat adjustments. We will go ahead with optimism,” CPI State secretary Chada Venkat Reddy told reporters here.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the Congress ‘unilaterally’ announcing that it would give three seats to CPI, the Left party Friday said it has decided to contest five seats.

TDP’s Telangana unit president L Ramana said the alliance partners intend to move ahead in a planned manner, including preparing a road map, in the days to come.

The first list of Congress candidates for the polls would be released on November 10, AICC in-charge of party affairs in Telangana R C Khuntia had said.

However, the move has been deferred as the talks remained inconclusive.

Congress had said that it has decided to leave 25 seats — 14 to Telugu Desam Party, eight to Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) and three to CPI.

Khuntia had said the party has cleared 74 names. There are 119 Assembly segments.

The gazette notification for the polls would be issued on November 12 and the last date of nominations is November 19, according to the schedule released by the Election Commission.

The supporters of some aspirants for Congress tickets staged a sit-in Saturday at Gandhi Bhavan, the State Congress headquarters,demanding that their leaders be given tickets.

The TRS, which had announced candidates for 105 seats on September 6 when the Assembly was dissolved, is on a hectic campaign.

TRS leader and minister in the caretaker government K T Rama Rao attacked the Congress-TDP alliance, alleging that TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had been critical of the Congress and its former president Sonia Gandhi earlier.

TRS president and caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would distribute the ‘B forms’ (authorised forms for candidature) to the party nominees on Sunday, party sources said.

He would also meet party activists from his constituency of Gajwel near here, they said.

Meanwhile, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer said in a press release that the Election Commission has issued an order banning conduct of exit polls and the publication of its results in Telangana from 7 AM on November 12 to 5.30 PM on December 7.

Source: Economic Times