Apparently coming to an understanding with the allies on seat-sharing, the Congress has called for an emergency meeting of the PCC office-bearers on Monday to finalise the seats it would contest.
Though the meeting would be held to discuss the celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, party senior leaders said the office-bearers would discuss the seats to be left to the alliance partners as part of the understanding and would list out the seats to be contested by the party.
The meeting would also discuss other issues like Common Minimum Programme, campaign strategy, publicity activity and others. The office-bearers’ meeting would finalise the agenda to be held for the core committee meeting of the PCC later this week.
According to sources, the TDP is seeking about 15, TJS 12, and the CPI 5. This adds up to 32, leaving the Congress 87 seats. However, the Congress is not ready to concede these many seats. The Congress leaders are of the view that the alliance partners lack enough strength to win the seats they are proposing, and the Congress wants to contest about 95 seats. The office-bearers would check the list of the alliance partners and would examine where they could win.
The Congress has already ordered surveys in the constituencies and trying to assess the strength of the candidates being proposed by the alliance partners. The survey reports would reach the PCC by next Saturday or Sunday. On the other hand, the Congress is facing the problem of contentious seats where the alliance partners are planning to contest. The TDP and TJS have been claiming the seats where the Congress candidates have been working for the past few months.
A senior leader said, “Already the PCC and AICC have given a green signal to some leaders who have been working for the party for the past few years. However, the alliance partners are aspiring those seats. It would be difficult for the Congress to concede the seats to them.”
The Congress wants to make a hard bargain on the seats with the alliance partners and would take the support of the PCC office-bearers in this regard. It may compromise on some seats and may ask its leaders to sacrifice for the sake of the victory of the party.
As far as TJS is concerned, Congress leaders of the view that Kodandaram could be convinced on the number of seats if he is made chairman of the Common Minimum Programme. They say the post would be like the one held by former CM NT Rama Rao in the National Front. NT Rama Rao was named as NF chairman and there was no committee. This would allow Kodandaram to be in a coveted post. #KhabarLive