Telangana's main opposition Congress party on Thursday decided to contest 95 Assembly seats and leave the remaining 24 seats for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and other constituents of the grand alliance. Under the seat sharing agreement for the Legislative Assembly up for grabs, the Congress has allotted 14 seats to the TDP while the remaining 10 will go to the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and the Communist Party of India.
Elections to the 119-member Assembly are scheduled to be held on December 7. Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Uttam Kumar Reddy announced the decision in New Delhi on Thursday.
The Congress' Central Election Committee discussed the list of candidates sent by the party's state unit. Reddy said the candidates will be announced on November 8 or 9.
Those whose names have made it to the list include Uttam himself, besides leaders like Revanth Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar, Sabita Indrareddy, DK Aruna and Jana Reddy among others.
The announcement comes after more than a month of talks and negotiations between the leaders of the parties involved in the alliance.
Just last week, a two-day ultimatum to the Congress to decide on giving them at least 10 seats of their choice in the upcoming Telangana elections, failing which, the party, led by Professor Kodandaram, had threatened to walk out of the alliance.
While the TJS has initially demanded 15 seats, the Congress offered it only 4. However, after a tough bargain, the party is learnt to have accepted 9 seats. TJS was also upset as the Congress was offering it several â€˜losingâ€™ seats like Siddipet, a TRS stronghold and seats in the old city of Hyderabad, which have conventionally been won by the AIMIM.
The CPI seems have to have received the short end of the stick, with the Congress likely to offer it only one or two seats.
The Telangana elections are scheduled to be held on December 7 after KCR dissolved the Assembly on September 6 this year. The counting of votes will take place on December 11.