Telangana Jana Samithi is trying to take a middle path to ensure that it gets the recognition in Maha Kutami and its demand is accepted. It has become clear that Congress will not give it the seats it want. It realised that it will have to accept whatever seats are given. TDP, which is far bigger than it, has also climbed down. CPI is also readying for an agreement. It realised that if it insists on big number, it may face disgrace.
Congress leadership is moving cautiously. It has indirectly conveyed to the parties that if they become greedy they will be the loser. Jana Samithi so far set many deadlines but nobody took the threats of Jana Samithi leaders seriously. They repeatedly demanded that they be informed about the seats being allotted to them but nobody cared. They first decided to chalk out common minimum programme. The state leadership of Congress party convinced them that if the number of seats are announced before common minimum programme, they all will lose their honour. If the seats are announced before common minimum programme, people will think that they are power hungry. Congress told its allies that this will harm the prospects of the alliance. This forced TJS leadership to reconsider their stand.
TDP climb down
It may be said that TDP has eased the headache of Congress party. Till Chandrababu Naidu intervened, TDP leaders were sticking to their guns. They had been demanding minimum 35 seats. These include 15 seats they won in 2014. TDP had finished second in 14 other constituencies. They said justice will be done to them if six seats are given in addition to these 29 seats. 30 seats to TDP and another 30 seats to TJS and CPI would amount to Congress committing suicide. In this situation, pulls and pressures increased. Initially, there were indications that TJS will be kept away from the alliance. CPI was angry that it was being insulted. In this situation, TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu met TTDP leaders. He advised them to work with the objective of defeating KCR. He said Congress leaders will have better prospects of victory than TDP candidates. He suggested that party should take only those constituencies where it is sure of victory. He said he had reports of surveys which say that TDP can win nine seats. He said that the party may demand another six seats. With this, the entire picture became clear.
The report that TDP will be content with 10-12 seats forced TJS leaders to ponder. They felt that taking seats which the party can’t win will be like insulting themselves. Congress leaders will also not cooperate fully. There will also be danger of dissidents jumping into the fray. There will be no chances of alliance working together to achieve its objective. The ruling party may also encourage rebels and with the help of money and muscle power could field them against TJS candidates. All these will work against TJS. If the party tastes defeat, it will lose the ground against the ruling party. The party may even lose its existence. Keeping all these in mind, TJS leaders are contemplating to adopt middle path. They felt that after demanding over 30 seats, if they settle for less than 10 then it will be lose of face. Congress party is also trying to convince TJS to contest on hand symbol instead of TJS symbol. This will ensure that the votes are not divided. The traditional votes of Congress will go to TJS candidates. Otherwise, there will be chances of cross voting. If rebels from Congress enter the fray then there will be more chances of split of votes. Keeping this in view, TJS leaders began exploring alternative option.
CMP Chairman is on middle path
TJS initially demanded that Kodandaram be made chairman of Maha Kutami or Praja Kutami going among people as an alternative to TRS. TDP supported this demand. Congress did not respond. Now the latest demand from TJS is that Kodandaram be at least made chairman of Common Minimum Programme. The party believes that if Kodandaram is given this responsibility in view of his public image, Kutami will get credibility. Congress is said to be positive towards this proposal. Even if TJS is given less number of seats, there will be no problems. There will also be no criticism that they are hungry for power. TJS candidates may contest on Congress symbol. This will solve the main puzzle before Kutami. Currently, discussion is going on in Congress on this issue. TJS leaders are continuing their efforts to move further on this issue. They are discussing a strategy while ensuring that there is no opposition from their district level leaders. If there is an agreement on this proposal, it will be huge step for giving concrete shape to Kutami.