HYDERABAD: In a major development on Tuesday night, three Opposition parties in Telangana – the Congress, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) – joined hands to form a grand alliance to take on the ruling the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in the upcoming state Assembly elections.
Showing a united front, the parties demanded President`s rule in the state until the Assembly polls.
A group of senior political leaders from four Opposition parties – the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Congress, the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) – met Governor ESL Narasimhan on Tuesday.
According to a senior Congress leader, the alliance will be in line for a United Opposition ahead of 2019 general elections.
The front is also reportedly trying to unite with Kodandaram (of TJS) and seek support of all people`s organisations, employees, unemployed and women`s groups.
"This is only the preliminary stage. We have not discussed seat sharing. But we are formulating a broad-based alliance, including the TDP also, on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme," said R C Khuntia, AICC-in-charge of Congress affairs in Telangana.
This is the first time in TDP's 35-year-old history that it is joining hands with the Congress in a state.
Justifying the alliance, Khunti said the Congress does not harbour any bitter feelings towards the TDP.
Accusing the caretaker government of misusing power and arresting two senior Congress leaders on false charges, former TDP legislator R Chandrasekar Reddy said, "Our delegation met the governor today and said the present caretaker government is violating both constitution and the democratic norms. The caretaker chief minister has also superimposed his authority over the election commission of India and announced the schedule of the elections, which is unheard of. So we requested the governor to impose the president rule and take over the administration of the state to ensure free and fair polls in the state".
On September 6, Governor Narasimhan dissolved the state assembly following a recommendation from the K Chandrashekhar Rao-led cabinet. The Governor, however, asked Rao to continue as caretaker Chief Minister until the new government was formed.
A team of the Election Commission of India (EC) on Tuesday met top officials and leaders of political parties in Telangana as part of its exercise to assess the preparedness for the conduct of Assembly elections in the state.
The team led by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha held separate meetings with the officials and representatives of recognised political parties. It will submit its report to the Commission and based on this a decision will be taken on poll dates.
With agency inputs