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Monday, January 7, 2008

‘It won’t be a cakewalk for Chiru in politics’

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Hyderabad: The Left parties are game to the idea of entry of Chiranjeevi into active politics but refuse to play ball—at least for now—on the likely impact he will create on the political firmament in the state. Both CPM and CPI are of the opinion that it augurs well for the state if more number of parties and players enter the political arena.

However, the leaders of both the parties are not ready to accept that mega star Chiranjeevi - for that matter BSP’s Mayawati - will make inroads into the base of the parties. All they say is people will have a wider choice, and hence they welcome Chiru’s entry. Quoting CPM strongman Prakash Karat, CPM state secretary B V Raghavulu says the next elections will be far more decisive if only the proposed party by Chiranjeevi comes out with a clear-cut ideology, programme and policies.

Refusing to hazard a guess on his party’s stand in case Chiru floats a new party, he said: “It will be premature to comment.” Playing the cards close to his chest, he said the Left parties have always welcomed a third alternative provided the policies and programmes are in tune with the CPM ideology.

“Whatever be the final political scenario, the Left will have a very decisive role to play in the months to come,” he said. The CPM got 1.84 per cent votes in the 2004 assembly elections and won nine out of 14 seats it contested. Joining the issue, CPM floor leader Nomula Narsimhaiah said the Congress due to its anti-poor and anti-farmer policies has landed itself into a difficult situation in this election year. “It will not be a smooth sailing for the Congress this time round,” he says.

Preferring to play it safe, CPI general secretary S Narayana told ‘TOI’ that people were unhappy with the present leadership of the Congress and the TDP, giving rise to the third alternative option. “Though more players — whether it is Chiranjeevi or Mayawati — are welcome, they will not be able to make a dent in the two Left parties,” he admitted.

“We are not expecting any dramatic developments as in 1983 when NTR established TDP and swept to power,” he said. The CPI got 1.55 per cent of the votes in the 2004 poll and won six out of 12 seats it had contested.

The TDP had polled 37.59 per cent as against 38.56 per cent votes received by the Congress. The BSP had polled 1.23 per cent of votes and emerged as the seventh largest party though it had won only one seat, forfeiting in the remaining 159 seats it had contested. However, the BSP had polled more votes.

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