Hyderabad: All the major parties seem to be waiting for their rivals to blink first as forging alliances has apparently become a tricky affair in the newly-born state of Telangana, which has 17 parliamentary and 119 assembly constituencies that will go to polls on April 30.
Each party is holding the cards close to its chest and also keeping all options open on possible tie-ups amid a lot of kite-flying on electoral friendships.
As time is short for the last day of filing nominations, the parties are expected to soon clear the air over the pre-poll alliances. But what have been confounding the scene are the tricks each party seems to be playing.
As every party is obviously seeking to bank on the Telangana factor, none is willing to concede the ground to the other.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), for instance, had ruled out alliance with Congress and even cold-shouldered CPI on a possible tie-up. But when Congress and CPI have almost finalised their electoral alliance, and with Telugu Desam and BJP truck also looked certain, TRS once again opened its channel to Congress.
According to sources, CPI is said to be playing the mediator "in the larger interest of Telangana" between Congress and TRS, which is weighing several permutations and combinations on the prospective alliances essentially to avoid a split in the so-called "pro-Telangana vote".
"Our party cadres feel an alliance (with Congress) is inevitable as without it not only Congress but we may also stand to lose. This will eventually benefit the TDP-BJP combine. We want to avoid a split in the pro-Telangana vote," a senior leader of TRS pointed out.
TRS` former MP B Vinod Kumar rushed to New Delhi to make last ditch efforts for a truck with Congress, party sources said.
Interestingly, at one point TRS made everyone believe that it was even seeking a tie-up with the BJP "in the interest of Telangana". But BJP never showed any inclination towards this more so after TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao slighted Narendra Modi saying "he`s no good for us".
That TRS is also seeking to join hands with Majlis-e- Ittehadul Muslimeen is another factor which deterred BJP from looking at the former as a possible partner in Telangana.
Today, however, TRS released its first list of 69 candidates for the Assembly elections, keeping another 50 pending. For the record, Chandrasekhar Rao ruled out having any alliance with other parties and asserted TRS would fight the polls on its own.
TDP-BJP talks over seat-sharing seemed to be stuck in a stalemate as the latter is said to be insisting on certain seats that the former is unwilling to concede. Though the two parties have arrived at a broad understanding over the number of seats to be shared, BJP is reportedly stubborn over some particular Assembly segments.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu said there should be a "win-win" proposition in the seat-sharing and hoped things would become clear by tomorrow.
CPI-M that has been reduced to a zero in Andhra Pradesh is also desperate to ride piggyback on TRS in Telangana and YSR Congress in Seemaandhra. Its effort did not fructify with TRS remaining cold to the proposal but YSRC may take CPI-M in as a partner. Already, CPI-M and YSRC tied up in some urban local bodies for the elections held on March 30.
CPI-M also wants to join hands with CPI in Seemaandhra but the latter is not ready to get close to YSRC. CPI has also so far not revealed whether it will extend its camaraderie with Congress to Seemaandhra as well.
"Telangana is an exceptional case in the current scenario," CPI state secretary K Narayana observed.
If the Left parties do not find common ground, it will be the first time CPI and CPI-M will be going to polls separately in Andhra Pradesh.