The Maha Kootami or a grand alliance of the Opposition parties in Telangana is now more or less a reality to take on the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the coming assembly elections.
Three opposition parties – the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party and the Communist Party of India – have agreed in principle to form a grand alliance and they are trying to rope CPI-M and also Telangana Jana Samithi into the alliance shortly.
They might come out with a common manifesto and common action plan for the forthcoming elections.
So far so good. But the problem comes with the seat sharing. The Congress, being the biggest opposition party, wants a lion’s share in the number of seats, while leaving a bare minimum to the TDP and the CPI which it feels are smaller players and have no stakes on coming to power.
During the discussions, the Congress reportedly indicated that it wants to contest in not less than 90 seats in the 119-member assembly, as it has to win a minimum of 60 seats. So, the other alliance partners have to be content with sharing the remaining 29 seats.
While agreeing that the Congress is a major stakeholder, the TDP leaders are learnt to have conveyed to Congress leaders that they would have to contest in not less than 25-30 seats.
“If you fall short of majority, we are always there to support you and we can form a coalition government,” the Telangana TDP leaders reportedly told PCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.
Interestingly, the TDP leaders also conveyed to the Congress leadership the message of their boss and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu that their party would fund most of the election campaign for the Congress.
Sources said the TDP had offered to pump in Rs 200 crore for the Congress campaign in Telangana and in lieu of that, the Congress will have to leave more seats to the TDP.
This is really a tempting news for the Telangana Congress, which is starved of election funds now. At the same time, it cannot afford to lose the opportunity to come to power on its own.
“We don’t want to depend on another party to form the government, because it will be unstable and will help the TRS to bounce back. Let us work out a reasonable agreement and go ahead,” the PCC chief is learnt to have told them.