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TRS to stay away from Presidential election

Narendra still remains undecided

Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

For the next president: Staff of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly getting the polling compartments ready in the Conference Hall No. 1 on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD: Telangana Rashtra Samithi on Wednesday announced its decision to stay away from the Presidential election on Thursday saying the Congress has “deceived” people by not keeping its promise of creating a separate Telangana.

TRS secretary V. Prakash said it would not support NDA candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat either, as he was from “RSS and BJP background”. There was no word from Congress and UPA on separate Telangana though TRS had waited for over a year after resigning from the UPA Government, he added. But the expelled TRS MP, A. Narendra, still remained undecided.

With Telugu Desam Party too deciding to abstain from voting tomorrow, the stage is set for an unequal battle in the State as the Congress-led UPA and Left parties possess overwhelming vote share against a marginal and truncated presence of BJP-led NDA. The MIM had already announced to keep itself away from elections.

The State’s value of votes is 43,512 at the rate of 148 for each MLA and 708 for an MP. In all, 67 MLAs and 15 MPs belonging to TDP, TRS, MIM and CPI (ML) have announced their decision to abstain. The Assembly staff was seen making arrangements for polling in Committee Hall No. 1 in the Assembly premises. The House would be in session and the members would cast their vote by turns and attend it.

The Election Commission having made it clear that no whip could be issued to force members to vote for a particular candidate, the parties chose the “appeal” route. Congress Legislature Party has issued an appeal to the legislators to be present in the Assembly and vote for the UPA candidate Pratibha Patil.

There was visible relief in TDP camp with the Election Commission finding no fault in MPs and MLAs abstaining from voting. But BJP State president B. Dattatreya criticised the TDP stand saying any act or gesture of staying away from election amounted to boycott.

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