Riding high following their success in the December 2018 Assembly Elections, the TRS has already kickstarted their campaign for the Lok Sabha polls. However, the opposition Congress, down and out after the poll drubbing, has been hit hard following the defection of four MLAs to the ruling party.
While the Congress had chosen to ally with TDP, the CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) under the Prajakutami alliance in the Telangana Assembly polls, it is unclear whether the national party will go it alone in 2019. According to source in TJS, the Congress has made it clear that they wouldn’t give a seat to either party president P Kodandram or to the CPI, but have requested for their support to campaign for them. The TJS has responded positively to Congress’ request. The source told TNM, “We are willing to offer our support.”
Regarding the alliance, the Congress, TDP, TJS and CPI have scheduled a meeting on Wednesday in Hyderabad. However, a few Congress leaders are against having any sort of alliance, which has the association of the TDP, which they believe would be baggage for the party.
A section of Congress leaders including star campaigner actor Vijayashanthi are of the opinion that the alliance with the TDP, which has been projected as ‘Andhra party’ by the TRS, had cost them dearly in the Assembly Elections. “The mood of the Congress leaders in Telangana is to go alone and leave the kutami. However, the decision will be taken by the high command or Central Working Committee,” a senior leader from Congress told TNM.
RC Khuntia, in-charge of the Telangana Congress Committee, is also reportedly of the view that the Congress should contest independently in all the 17 Lok Sabha seats. While it is certain that the TJS and CPI will not be contesting in the Lok Sabha elections, it is unclear whether the TDP which has lost a significant presence in Telangana will field a candidate.
In the 2018 Assembly Elections, Congress won 19 seats, the TDP won 2 seats, while the TJS and CPI drew a blank. The TRS won 88 seats of the 119 seats.
The Lok Sabha Elections in Telangana will be conducted in a single phase on April 11.