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A.P. Congress not on the same page with its ally Left parties on seat sharing?

APCC president Y.S. Sharmila with CPI(M) secretary V. Srinivasa Rao and CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna during a media conference at Andhra Ratna Bhavan in Vijayawada recently.
| Photo Credit: File Photo

The Congress in the State does not seem to be on the same page with its poll ally, the Left Parties, on seat-sharing.

Unlike the ruling YSR Congress Party and the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance which have declared their respective candidates for most of the Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies, the Congress with its limitations, is working hard to put together a list of suitable candidates who can face their formidable opponents in the poll fray.

The senior party leaders say the final list of candidates is not yet ready as the party president is still ‘fine-tuning’ it. The local-level screening of the list of 1400-odd aspirants has been completed and now it has to be presented before the party’s Central Election Committee (CEC).

The CEC members, meanwhile, are scrutinising the States’ lists based on their election schedules. “The lists for the States that are going for elections in the first and second phase are being cleared first. Since Andhra Pradesh will face elections in the fourth phase, we are having to wait,” said a senior party leader.

Moreover, the All-India Congress Committee in charge for AP Congress unit Manickam Tagore, who is contesting general elections from the Virudhunagar Parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu and filed his nomination on March 25, will have to be present at the CEC meeting, scheduled to be held in Delhi.

Even while the Congress leaders are immersed in finalisation of the party candidates, their counterparts from the Left parties have gone ahead and announced their candidates for the ensuing elections. The CPI State secretary K. Ramakrishna has said that it would field its candidates from 16 Assembly constituencies and two Lok Sabha segments.

Last Month, Ms. Sharmila held talks with senior leaders of the CPI and the CPI(M) after which they addressed a joint press conference to announce their alliance in the forthcoming elections to give a tough fight to the YSR Congress Party and the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance. A State party leader said the final decision on seat-sharing would be arrived at most likely at a joint meeting scheduled for March 29. The Left leaders seem to have already zeroed in on specific constituencies that they consider as their party strongholds.

Not averse to waiting

Senior party leaders are not averse to waiting for a while, as they see the gradual entry of the ruling party leaders in the Congress as a positive sign for the days to come. Gokul Krishna Reddy, the ZPTC member from Nandyal district, Dhara Padmaja, daughter of former Santanuthalapadu MLA D. Sambaiah and in-charge of the YSR Congress Party’s ST Cell in East and West Godavari districts Srujana, joined the Congress party on March 25. This was in quick succession to the YSRCP’s Chintalapudi MLA V.R. Eliza and former Kodumuru MLA Parigela Murali Krishna and a few others joining the Congress party.

“Now that the Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy does not have any control over the police, which he has been using against his political detractors, we are hopeful that more number of leaders from the ruling party will crossover to our side,.” said a senior leader of the Congress party.

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