Come Sept, Cong to seek allies

The Congress is expected to begin talks for pre-poll alliance with the “secular” parties after monsoon season. While the party is soft on the AIADMK and Left, it is in two minds about whether to strike a pre-poll alliance with the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD.
“The situation is very fluid. But we may initiate seat-sharing talks with non-BJP secular parties after August,” a senior Congress leader said here on Thursday.
The Congress wants pre-poll alliances in at least half a dozen key states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Mahar-ashtra and Jharkhand — besides Jammu and Kash-mir. It has been fighting elections in Kerala under the banner of the UDF.
Andhra Pradesh is a crucial state for the Congress. A section of the party strongly opposes any understanding with the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. But it feels a pre-poll alliance with the Left could be of benefit although the latter has influence in constituencies. Congress insiders concede the party has certainly been weakened in the state due to the mishandling of the Telangana issue. But the Opposition, too, is divided and thus not emerging as an alternate to the Cong-ress, they said.
Asked who could be the party’s prospective allies for the coming elections, an AICC official said anybody other than the BJP. But the Congress cannot ally with the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Biju Janata Dal, the Shiv Sena, the TDP and the INLD.

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