Deadlock: Congress and Left parties yet to reach a consensus on seat-sharing in Telangana

Talks in Delhi and the state have reached nowhere, with leaders working themselves into knots, unable to find a middle ground.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Nov 02, 2023 | 8:00 AMUpdatedNov 02, 2023 | 8:50 AM

The Telangana Congress has rejected the Left parties demand for five seats each. (X)

Discussions on seat-sharing between the Congress and the Left parties remained inconclusive with a consensus eluding the constituents of the Opposition INDIA bloc in Telangana.

The leaders on either side of the negotiation table have been working themselves into knots, unable to find a middle ground to strike a consensus.

The CPI(M) is unhappy over the Congress denying it any categorical assurance on Wyra, the third alternative seat that the Marxist party had sought, besides Miryalaguda for which it had already obtained the green signal.

Related: Former MP G Vivek quits the BJP and joins the Congress

The problem with Chennur

The CPI is also unhappy over the Congress for not giving the go-ahead after promising Kothagudem and Chennur.

The Chennur seat, which the CPI accepted grudgingly as it has no base there, is also not within its reach as Congress seems to be having second thoughts.

Former MP G Vivek Venkatswamy of the BJP, who joined the Congress on Wednesday, 1 November, has apparently been assured by the party high command that either he or his son Vamshi would be given a chance to contest from Chennur Assembly constituency on the grand old party’s ticket.

Initially, the Left parties had sought five seats each. But the Congress said a firm no, forcing them to agree, albeit grudgingly, to two seats each.

However, the temporary agreement soon ran into a stalemate over the seats CPI and CPI(M) should contest.

After a series of deliberations between the Congress and the Left parties at the national level remained inconclusive, the scene shifted to Telangana — but to no avail so far.

Also read: Voting patterns tell you what makes Telangana a curious contest

Fear of Congress rebels

The CPI(M) believes that Congress might double-cross it by allotting Miryalauga and Wyra and then encouraging its rebels to contest. The party initially sought Miryalaguda and either Palair or Bhadrachalam where the party has some support.

At its state secretariat meeting on Tuesday, 31 October, evening, the CPI(M) expressed its displeasure over the Congress playing “hide-and-seek”.

The party wanted Miryalguda and Wyra with an assurance that there would be no Congress rebels. But the Congress is not ready to offer Wyra now after consenting to the proposal initially. The Congress is now offering Miryalaguda and one seat in Hyderabad, which is not acceptable to the CPI(M).

The CPI had sought Kothagudem and Munugode but the Congress offered it Chennur. The party has no cadre base in Chennur.

Related: AUSTRAL AFFAIRS: Communists of Telangana — Left of nowhere

Left alliance

The CPI(M) is contemplating going it alone in case the alliance talks fall through.

As the CPI is also unhappy, the CPI(M) is exploring the possibility of contesting the elections in alliance with its Left partner, provided it calls off the talks with the Congress.

The two Left parties believe that they could make or mar one’s election prospects in at least 30 constituencies, though they could not win those seats.

The two parties are seething with rage over the BRS’s “betrayal” after the ruling party announced its candidates unilaterally. It had contested the Munugode by-election last year by allying with the Left.

To take on BRS, the two Left parties moved closer to the Congress. The fact that all of them are part of the INDIA bloc helped them to come together.

The Left parties estimate that they together have between 1,000 and 5,000 votes in 30 constituencies. They say that in Khamam, Nalgonda, and Warangal districts, they have a good presence. They argue that in about 100 seats, they have loyal voters ranging between 100 and 1,000.