TDP, BJP resolve seat-sharing row
HYDERABAD: The BJP-TDP-Loksatta-Jana Sena electoral alliance in the state has been formalized and an announcement on it is likely to be made on Friday or Saturday. As per the seat sharing arrangement finalized by BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, TDP Rajya Sabha MPs Sujana Chowdhary and CM Ramesh and the Loksatta representative here on Thursday, the TDP will give the BJP 8 Lok Sabha seats and 45 assembly seats in Telangana while Loksatta will contest the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat and perhaps three or four assembly seats in the entire state.
In the Seemandhra region, the BJP will contest four Lok Sabha seats and 15 assembly seats. According to sources, a few seats are likely to be allotted to the Jana Sena Party floated by Tollywood actor Pawan Kalyan. The TDP will fight the polls from all the other constituencies in both the regions that have not been allotted to the three parties.
In Telangana, the BJP is to field candidates from Mahabubnagar, Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Medak, Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Mahabubabad and Nagarkurnool Lok Sabha seats. According to sources, candidates from some of the Parliamentary seats like Medak (C Narendranath), Mahabubnagar (N Janardhan Reddy) and Nizamabad (Y Lakshminarayana) have been finalized. The Secunderabad candidate will most likely be state BJP president G Kishan Reddy or Bandaru Dattatreya who has represented the seat on three earlier occasions. From Hyderabad, the BJP-TDP alliance wants to field a formidable candidate against sitting MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi and the name of film director Ram Gopal Verma is said to be under consideration. Loksatta president Jayaprakash Narayan will be the alliance candidate from Malkajgiri.
In the Seemandhra region, the BJP is to contest the Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Kakinada Lok Sabha seats. Former union minister D Purandeswari may be fielded from either Vizag or Vijayawada. Incidentally, the BJP’s best performance in Andhra Pradesh was in the 1999 elections when it won 7 of the 8 Lok Sabha seats it contested in alliance with the TDP. In that poll, the TDP had won the Vizag, Vijayawada and Kakinada seats which it has now ceded to the rightwing party while the BJP had emerged victorious in the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat. BJP sources said Pawan Kalyan may be the party candidate for the Kakinada Lok Sabha seat. The BJP had won the Kakinada seat in the 1998 elections.
Confirming the electoral pact, TDP MP C M Ramesh told TOI that the talks were fruitful and the announcement of the alliance was expected to be made any moment. “The talks were cordial and we have arrived at an amicable understanding,” he said. Prakash Javadekar initiated the talks with the other alliance partners after landing in the city on Thursday morning and the deal was clinched by the evening.
While the Telangana BJP is happy with the outcome of the seat sharing talks, the Seemandhra unit is seeking more number of seats.”We are asking for six Lok Sabha seats and twenty assembly segments. I think it needs a little more consultation,” said Seemandhra BJP president Kambampati Haribabu. The minor hiccups still between the four parties are likely to be ironed out by Friday and the announcement of the grand alliance is likely to be made by BJP national president Rajnath Singh in Delhi, party sources said.