After waiting for a response from the Congress for a possible alliance, Professor M Kodandaram-led Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) has decided to contest the upcoming Telangana Assembly polls on its own. In spite of a bitter experience last election with the Congress, which fielded candidates in seats where the TJS contested in spite of an alliance, Prof. Kodandaram reached out to the Congress given that both parties are looking to bring down the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS).
The TJS was formed before the 2018 Telangana elections by Kodandaram after his fall out with BRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), post the creation of Telangana as a separate state in 2014. Both of them had spearheaded the separate statehood movement from 2009 until 2014, and Kodandaram headed the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which was an umbrella body that brought together all organisations, civil society groups and political parties.
“We had met Congress leaders in Delhi, but the final decision has to be taken by the state body itself. So far there is no development on an alliance,” said Kodandaram. He added that TJS party members have done ground work in some of the state’s 119 constituencies and have begun preparing for the elections. The TJS will announce its candidates for the polls in the coming days.
In the 2018 state polls, the Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had formed an alliance, which also included the TJS. Kodandaram’s outfit was given eight seats, but eventually filed nominations in 14 seats. While the TJS drew a blank, the Congress won 19 seats, two fewer than the 2014 state polls.
The Congress is also currently in talks with the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) for an alliance. Both the parties have asked for four or five seats each, but so far nothing has been declared. Apart from Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy, TJS leaders also met Revanth’s predecessor and Nalgonda MP Uttam Kumar Reddy to reach out to the Congress high command. However it was not of much use. When contacted, a senior Congress said that any alliance with the TJS is unlikely.