Parties in AP brace for early elections

Taking cue from the Samajwadi Party (SP) which declared the first list of candidates for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, political parties in Andhra Pradesh are all set to jump on the bandwagon.

Gripped by political urgency, the parties, including the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), declared that they would come up with their list of candidates soon. For the TDP, it is more of a desperate measure to prevent its flock from getting poached by the YSR Congress (YSRC) and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

Addressing a general body meeting as part of his Padayatra in Ranga Reddy district, TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu said: “Our party is ready to face elections if they are held ahead of schedule.” Naidu told party cadre that the SP announcing its Lok Sabha candidates and the Congress appointing committees indicated that there would be early elections. He urged his party leaders to prepare themselves for mid-term elections like all other parties.

While Rahul Gandhi’s political observers are currently touring the state to assess their chances of victory, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao asked his party cadres to be ready for elections and even announced an action plan.

He went a step ahead by announcing a cabinet berth for a TNGO leader Swamy Goud as minister for government employees in Telangana state. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) supremo and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi made it abundantly clear that he wanted to join hands with the YSRC to strengthen the party. In an interview, Owaisi said that Muslims in the state had lost a father figure in Y S Rajasekhara Reddy. Now, there is none to take care of their safety or welfare, he rued.

He also said that harassment of innocent Muslims by the police had increased after YSR’s death. Explaining how Muslims were benefited during the late YSR regime, the MIM chief said that schemes launched for the uplift of the minorities were being ignored by the Kiran Kumar Reddy government.

Reports suggest that Owaisi wants to expand his party, which is confined to the old city area of Hyderabad, to Coastal and Rayalaseema regions with strong Muslim population. It is said that the MIM will work together with the surging the YSRC in the 2014 elections forming a formidable alliance.

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