Disgruntled by the humiliation the party faced in the Telangana assembly elections, many Congress leaders are of the opinion that the grand alliance the party formed with three other parties ahead of the December 7 assembly elections in Telangana should be discontinued.
The Congress along with its allies were completely wiped out from the state, after the whopping victory of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which managed to sweep the polls winning 88 out of 119 seats. The Congress won 19 out of the 100 seats it contested. Its alliance partner, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), won two seats. The other allies, the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and Communist Party of India (CPI) could not win any seats.
Several Congress leaders now believe that the party would have done better in the elections if it had contested alone. A Congress member expressing dissatisfaction with Congress allying with TDP believed that partnering with the TDP did the party more harm than good. “It was initially thought that TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s campaign would help attract votes of the (Andhra) settlers,’’ he said on condition of anonymity.
Congress leader and former MP Vijayashanti said that Congress should have contested the elections alone, “I cautioned against forging an alliance with the TDP, as the people of Telangana are still opposed to Naidu,’” she said referring to the disgruntlement the people of Telangana believe to have for Chandrababu Naidu, as he had objected to the formation of Telangana state, thereby invoking the Telangana sentiment. “But it was the high command’s decision to go for the alliance. Now, we should be cautious”, Vijayashanti furthered.
The Congress’ Telangana campaign committee chairman, Malli Bhatti Vikramarka, emphasised that the alliance was only for the assembly elections. “We cannot say now whether the alliance will continue. The party high command will take a call,” he said.
While TJS president M Kodandaram informed that the party would take the decision whether or not the alliance should continue when the need arises, CPI state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy took this opportunity to blame Congress for the delay in concluding the seat-sharing deal and citing this as the prime reason for the Prajakutami alliance to be a wipeout in the state.
However, the TDP leaders are still optimistic that the alliance will continue, saying that they see no reason why the alliance should not work. “I do not see any reason why the experiment should fizzle out. The TDP, TJS and CPI leaders attended the swearing-in ceremonies of Congress chief ministers in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh,’’ said Telangana TDP general secretary Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy, saying that this itself proves that they are still united.