The Congress would not name the Chief Ministerial candidate in poll-bound Telangana, where it would fight the Assembly elections jointly with the TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi, a key party leader said Wednesday.
The AICC In-charge of Telangana, R C Khuntia maintained that the usual practice in the Congress was not to name the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate before any Assembly election.
“TPCC (Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee) President, Uttam Kumar Reddy will lead the campaign but the Chief Ministerial candidate will be finalised after the election,” Khuntia told agencies.
“It will be decided after the election results come out, with the views of MLAs, in consultation with our President Rahul Gandhi”, he said.
Telangana Assembly was dissolved on September six — more than eight months ahead of the expiry of its term — on the recommendation of (now) Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who opted to go for early elections.
The Election Commission is yet to come out with the poll schedule for the State.
The Congress which won 21 seats in the 119-member Assembly in the 2014 elections with a vote share of more than 25 per cent, has since struck an understanding with the TDP, the CPI and TJS of Prof M Kodandaram to fight the election jointly.
“Seat sharing details have not been finalised but we have agreed to fight jointly,” Khuntia said. “We will have a common agenda, and also some strategy to campaign jointly,” he added.
According to Khuntia, winnability of the alliance partners would decide as to who would get how many seats to contest.
“It’s not the question of numbers; it’s a question of winnability”, he said, adding, while the Congress is the major partner, the three other parties would get “preference” in segments where they are in a better position.
The TDP fought the last election in alliance with the BJP, won 15 seats and had a close to 15 per cent vote-share.