The unchallenged Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC) president Prof M Kodandaram is now, in his capacity as the president of the political party he had floated, Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), at the mercy of the Congress.
Prof. Kodandaram, whose leftist ideology was adored much and rational thought process brought laurels, became the man to look up to even for Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) founder president K Chandrashekar Rao. But, all that is history.
Now, the fledgling political party, if one may call it so, of Kodandaram is reduced to a puppet by the Congress. The grand old party has ushered in all parties to get into a grand alliance. But the major stakeholder in the “grand alliance” is the Congress.
While the Congress is demonstrating its condescending superiority complex on every junior partner in the alliance, TJS is the junior most with no electoral experience whatsoever.
In one word, the Congress is “gobbling” up the TJS, for it proposes that the TJS nominees (loosely understand this as candidates recommended by Prof. Kodandaram) shall contest on the “hand” symbol of the Congress. In fact, the Congress leaders contend that Prof Kodandaram’s party doesn’t have contestants and also that they are least interested in a political engagement with him, but for the pressure from the Congress high command.
The Congress leaders are harping on the age-old practice of “leaking out” the information to draw contours to the alliance partners much before getting into the nitty-gritty of the alliance.
They are making things look trivial by portraying their strategy that they could “honour” Prof. Kodandaram with a position equivalent to that of a Deputy Chief Minister. Are they saying that he could be the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board if at all the grand alliance could make it to power? What else is the position they want to adorn him with? The Congress has reduced Kodandaram from an ideologist to an ideologue to just an ‘idiosyncratic’ person pursuing anti-KCR politics.
With almost zero bargaining power, as the professor himself said a couple of days ago, he is being “invited for tea” and the depth of political discussion is not even scraping the surface. The TJS party’s expectation that it should be given 18 to 20 seats is being made out as a joke.
The Congress, in fact, wants to limit the total number of seats it would share with alliance partners to no more than 20.
TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu only wants to curry political favour from the dicey political situation. For, his ‘hapless’ party unit in Telangana has almost thrown its hands into the air. He doesn’t want to be seen as personally playing second fiddle to the Congress so that he could blame it on the local leaders for the outcome. The TDP is demanding 22 seats which the Congress may not concede.
The CPI, which has a dismal presence in Telangana, is talking aloud in the current scenario. It is demanding specific seats like Kothagudem and Wyra, else it is holding out a threat that it will contest all seats in Khammam district alone and this will prove detrimental to the Congress interests. While the CPI wants about 10 seats, the Congress may accede to offer three to four.
But the seats being sought by the allies are becoming knotty with Congress too having its own aspirants. Whether the three confabulations in star-hotel/resorts, 50 meetings in the last 30 days would let the grand alliance make any headway remains a million-dollar question. Internecine feuds within the Congress, indifferent TDP and a dwarfed Kodandaram will only be the tail-enders in the Congress lineup of batsmen.