The long wait is over

The long wait is over

The DDay has arrived The fate of the parties and that of the 1,821 contestants, who fought elections for Telangana Assembly desperately, would be decided on Tuesday ending the 4daylong political cliff hanger

Hyderabad: The D-Day has arrived. The fate of the parties and that of the 1,821 contestants, who fought elections for Telangana Assembly desperately, would be decided on Tuesday; ending the 4-day-long political cliff- hanger.

Even as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is eyeing a second term, the Congress, heading People’s Front comprising three other parties, wants to come to power in the state, which would also help in quickening the domino effect at the national level that the Congress was gaining in strength to throw a challenge to NDA in Lok Sabha elections next year.

Fearing poaching, the Congress has asked all the candidates to make themselves available to the party leadership in Hyderabad. Hectic efforts are going on to keep them out of reach to the TRS. Already allegations are flying thick and fast that attempts have begun by leaders to reach out to rival prospective MLAs of other parties.

Nagarkurnool prospective MLA Marri Janardhan Reddy of TRS alleged that Chevella MP, who is in Congress now, K Vishweshwar Reddy had asked him to jump the fence and support the Congress in case it does not get the requisite numbers, which allegation the parliamentarian promptly denied.

The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for fool-proof counting of the votes which are sealed in electronic form in the EVMs. The bitterly fought election had brought arch rivals Congress and Telugu Desam come together while making the ruling TRS establish channels of communication with MIM and BJP which are diametrically opposite to each other in ideology but have no qualms in supporting the TRS.

Though the way they would support the pink party might differ in case of a hung verdict, they would ensure that TRS comes back to power, if they could help. While the MIM will offer unconditional support since KCR had already declared that Owaisi is his friend, the BJP might abstain from attending the Assembly on the day of the trial of strength, which any way is as good as supporting the TRS. As far as KCR is concerned, he invited MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi over to his official residence Pragati Bhavan for lunch on Monday where they went into a huddle for more than four hours, setting off speculation that a hung verdict is on the cards. They reportedly discussed various possibilities the verdict would throw up and decided on strategies suiting each possibility.

After the meeting, Owaisi said: “I will support TRS and there need not be any doubt about it. In fact, KCR would not need anyone’s support to form the government but should he be in need, MIM would stand by him.” Owaisi went to Pragati Bhavan on a bike to demonstrate the fact that he did not fear for his life as TRS government was doing an excellent job in maintaining law and order.

Lending credence to the assessment, Telangana Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy flew to Delhi to discuss the strategy to be adopted for ensuring that the Congress would form government in case of a hung verdict by initiating a dialogue with MIM and placating the Congress rebels who might win the election to support the grand-old party.

To deal with MIM, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad will arrive in Hyderabad on Tuesday while Karnataka Minister DK Sivakumar, who played a crucial role in thwarting the BJP from poaching Congress MLAs after people threw up a hung verdict in Karnataka in May, is already in Hyderabad. The possibility of camp politics as it happened in Karnataka is not ruled out.

As there is a possibility of the Governor inviting the single largest party to form government as was done in Karnataka, the Congress-led People’s Front leaders called on ESL Narasimhan and requested him to treat the four parties that formed People’s Front – Congress, TDP, TJS and CPI – as one group and consider the total number of seats they win together while deciding whom to invite to form the government.

Uttam Kumar Reddy had brought Governor’s attention to Supreme Court’s judgements in the past which laid down that a pre-poll alliance should be considered as one group and if it happens to have a majority of seats or emerges as the single largest group in the House, it should get the opportunity to form the government first.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of the Congress called on Director-General of Police M Mahender Reddy and sought additional security to Congress candidates at the counting centres in the wake of such attacks happening in the past. At present, the security provided to the contesting candidates is not enough and as a lot of tension has been generated, the candidates would require additional security, they argued.

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