Post bifurcation in 2014, Congress was routed out of AP and is still struggling to make its presence felt in the state; while TRS swept the polls in Telangana last time.

By joining hands with the TDP can Cong make a comeback in both Telugu states
news Politics Monday, July 30, 2018 - 17:41

The Congress party announced on Monday that it would ally with the Telugu Desam Party in the 2019 elections in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The announcement was made by Telangana Congress Pradesh Committee Uttam Kumar Reddy on Sunday.

Earlier it was speculated that the TDP will ally with the TRS in Telangana. However, with the TDP splitting from the NDA, Chandrababu Naidu has been seen as moving close to the Congress. Both Rahul Gandhi and Chandrababu shared the dais along with Mayawati, Mamata Banerjee and others at the oath taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka, sending out the message of a potential anti-BJP coalition.

Though the Telangana Congress unit had earlier felt that allying with the TDP would not do good for the party, it was later decided that the coalition could potentially win and form the government even at the Centre.

Post bifurcation in 2014, Congress was routed out of AP and is still struggling to make its presence felt in the state.

As part of its revival strategy, the party has already made some key changes. Oommen Chandy, for instance, has taken over the position of AP in-charge from senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.

In one of his earliest moves, Chandy was able to convince the last CM of united AP, Kiran Kumar, to rejoin the party. Kiran Kumar had left the fold of the party when Congress at the Centre had granted statehood to Telangana.

He formed his own party, Jai Samaikyandhra Party, and contested in the elections. However, his party performed poorly, following which he decided to go on a political exile.

Meanwhile, the alliance in Telangana is already facing a hurdle – TRS invoked the Telangana sentiment and won the last elections in a big way; it could well do the same again and accuse the Congress of joining hands with Telangana Drohulu (Telangana betrayers).

The TDP had played a complicated role in the bifurcation: TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had written a letter in favour of state bifurcation, but after sensing anger from the Andhra people, he protested against the bifurcation claiming that the state division was happening in an unfair manner.

Though a few Telangana leaders are skeptical about the alliance, senior Congress leaders affirm that they will take on the TRS head on.

“Our plan is to go on the offensive. The TRS has been acting as if they have sole ownership over Telangana. If Telangana was achieved, it is because of us. We will spread this message far and wide. As far as calling our alliance unholy, we will remind them how TDP leaders like Kadiyam Srihari, Tummala Nageswara Rao, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, who were anti-Telangana, later became part of KCR’s cabinet,” a sitting MLA from north Telangana told TNM.   

He further said that the TRS evoking Andhra as a rival would not work in the upcoming elections: “Andhra is like any of the neighbouring states. Telangana and Andhra people don’t have any rivalry. Kalvakuntla Kavitha had supported the SCS demand of Andhra in Parliament and even KCR had said that Andhra is a friendly neighbour. So the TRS cannot using the anti-Andhra sentiment anymore.”

“Our internal survey has revealed that at least 40 sitting MLAs will be losing in the upcoming general elections. This is an indication of the people’s anger against TRS regime. People won’t be fooled this time with Telangana sentiment,” he added.

Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee president Anjan Kumar Yadav too said the same, “Allying with the TDP is not a liability. TRS cannot accuse us as Telangana Drohulu since the TRS itself is a party full of Telangana Drohulu.”