Mahakutami sputters: Kodandaram wants slice of cake, more MLC share

HYDERABAD: The Mahakutami’s problems seem to be far from over. Notwithstanding the ongoing skirmishes over seat-sharing for the upcoming state Assembly elections.

Kodandaram’s Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) is now exerting pressure on the Congress to give at least 16 assembly constituencies and finalise its share of MLC seats and nominated posts in various corporations and other government organisations once the grand alliance is voted to power and forms the government.

Over 12 MLC seats will fall vacant in 2019 and the TJS, which has professors, intellectuals and academicians, would be more than eager to fill the legislative council from teachers, graduates, local area constituencies and governor’s quota from its ranks. TJS official spokesperson G Venkat Reddy told STOI, “What is wrong in asking our chare of MLC and nominated seats. The feelers sent by Congress is that only 3-4 seats will be given to TJS.” He said TJS has its own strengths and party chief M Kodandaram has a clean image.

Though Kodandaram and TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy had announced that the seat-sharing talks were held in a friendly and amicable manner and that the deal would be finalised before Dasara and made public after the festival, sources said the TJS is refusing to give in to Congress’s tactics. The Congress wants to limit TJS to a singledigit (not more than 10 seats) in the assembly, much to the chagrin of the latter which perceives the former’s ‘big brother’ attitude as nothing less than bullying.

To make matters worse for the Mahakutami, highly-placed sources told STOI that the AICC-appointed screening committee for Telangana elections has been submitted with a list of Congress candidates (probables) for 99 seats, leaving only 20 to be shared among the other allies — TDP, TJS and CPI. Of the 99 seats, 45 are unanimous ‘choice’ candidates such as sitting MLAs, veterans, party heavywights and former ministers who are considered as ‘winning horses’. For the next set of 45 constituencies, three candidates’ names have been given to the screening committee by the Telangana Congress though the panel insisted on one winnable candidate’s name for each constituency.