CPI gives 2-day ultimatum to Cong on seat-sharing, later says no plan to walk out
Restless over the Congress still deliberating on the seat-sharing formula, the Communist Party of India (CPI) issued an ultimatum of two days to the Congress on Monday. The CPI said that they would contest independently from 20 seats as per their Plan B, if the Congress doesn’t offer them nine seats in the next two days. However, minutes later, they changed their stance and claimed that they have no plans of walking out of the Mahakutami.
The CPI is part of the Mahakutami (grand alliance) which comprises Congress, Telugu Desam Party, and Telangana Jana Samithi. Addressing the media at their party office in Hyderabad, state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy accused the Congress of delaying the seat sharing decision, and further threatened to would walk out of the alliance if they are not given seats from nine constituencies, including Kothagudem, Husnabad, Wyra, Devarakonda, Bellampally, Alair, Mancherial, Pinapaka, and Munugode.
Venkat Reddy said that he hasn’t received any update regarding the seat-sharing from the Congress, so he convened the press meet to put on record that the CPI needs those nine seats. “The CPI was very patient. Since the beginning, we have been asking them (Congress) not to delay the seat-sharing decision. As there’s no information on this, we have announced our plan B. In the next two days, if the Congress doesn’t give nine seats, we will announce candidates for these nine constituencies and begin our campaign,” Reddy said.
Expressing confidence in his party's strength, he said, “We have the strength to win from 40 seats.” He further stated that the CPI was the reason behind the alliance, and said that they took measures to strengthen the alliance.
However, later speaking to NTV, Reddy clarified that they wouldn’t walk out of the alliance, but have announced the constituencies from which CPI would be contesting. “As a party, we have announced the constituencies from where we would be contesting. If the Congress doesn’t agree to it, we will discuss,” Reddy said.
Venkat Reddy himself will be a candidate in the upcoming Assembly elections. He has expressed his desire to contest from Husnabad constituency. He had contested the 2004 elections and won from the then Indurthi constituency.
Similarly, the TJS also has been demanding 10 winnable seats from the Congress. However, as the party was reluctant on this, the party president Kodandram visited New Delhi and met Congress president Rahul Gandhi last week. The TJS had earlier expressed disappointment that the Congress had offered them only nine seats, of which six were strongholds of the TRS and AIMIM, that they had no chance of winning.