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Congress-PRP `hard-sell’ hits roadblock

The seat-sharing talks between the ruling Congress Party and the now defunct Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) have expectedly hit a dead-end.

Sources in both the parties state that this was essentially because both were standing firm on their avowed line. With the PRP chief actor-politician Chiranjeevi not willing to buckle down and continuing to demand his pound of flesh, Congress leaders have realised that he has matured as a politician.

This is a far cry from the Chiranjeevi of a couple of years ago when he openly agreed to `any proposal’ that was put across by the Congress High Command, including after the 2009 hustings.

Today, he has become a tough nut to crack much to the discomfort of the ever-optimistic Congress emissaries coming over from 10, Janpath, who are returning with their `mission’ left unaccomplished.

The latest round of talks between Chiranjeevi and the State PCC President, Botsa Satyanarayana, seem to have run into a road-block, all over again. The PCC chief failed in his exercise to win over the actor’s nod with regard to the allotment of seats to the erstwhile PRP in the ensuing by-elections.

Chiranjeevi is insisting that he be given four seats on the consistent plea that his nominees would make a sweep.

However, unable to contain the boisterous rhetoric of the actor, the Congress High Command is reportedly contemplating to come out with its own tough-stance.

Now the party leaders are unwilling to bend down and oblige Chiranjeevi, who is keen on making it to the Union Cabinet. Congress leaders, particularly those from the State, are toying with the idea of dangling political bait in a last-ditch effort to woo the PRP strongman into their fold.

Sources in Gandhi Bhavan indicate that the party would agree to allot all the four Assembly seats provided Chiranjeevi forgets about a berth in the Union Council of Ministers. This apparently is not going down well with the actor, who is suddenly caught in a no man’s land.

It is a Catch-22 situation that comes binding on the Congress, which is on cloud nine following the defeat of the no-trust vote in the Legislative Assembly.

Although the fate of the Legislators voted on PRP symbol is in the hands of the Speaker, Nadendla Manohar there is no denying the fact some senior Congress leaders from Telangana region are sending strong messages across that they have no need to toe

Chiranjeevi’s line now as 2014 was a long way to go, the Congress-PRP merger notwithstanding.

The actor-politician got the first indication of his fast fading `buying’ power when there was a Cabinet reshuffle that saw RLD leader Ajit Singh returning to the UPA Cabinet, the first such exercise since the Alliance returned to power.

Satyanarayana had gone to the extent of actually asking Chiranjeevi to contest from the lone Assembly seat they were willing to accommodate in the by-elections.

A senior Congress leader opines that unless he is willing make some political compromises and sacrifices now, Chiranjeevi may find himself pushed to the corner by the dawn of 2014. (INN)

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