Dalit group wants seat share from Andhra opposition alliance

Hyderabad, March 18 : The grand alliance of opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh faces trouble as a Dalit outfit Wednesday set a 48-hour deadline for accepting it as a constituent of the front.

The Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS), which has already announced its plans to contest elections in 30 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats, has given ultimatum to the Telugu Desam Party-led alliance to take a decision by Friday.

MRPS founder and president Manda Krishna Madiga told reporters that if the organisation was not accepted as part of the alliance and was not allotted seats, it would announce its future course of action. He threatened that the MRPS will contest all 294 assembly and 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state on its own.

The group March 8 had asked the grand alliance to leave 30 assembly seats and four Lok Sabha seats for it in exchange of the support of Madiga community to the alliance partners.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti and two communist parties are the other constituents of the grand alliance. The Dalit organisations want all the four parties to make sacrifice and leave the seats for it.

The MRPS ultimatum has added problems for the alliance, which is already facing problems in finalising the seat sharing agreement among the four constituents.

The MRPS decided to contest elections to protest the delay on part of the ruling Congress to bring a legislation for categorisation of scheduled castes for reservations.

With around seven million population, Madigas are numerically the biggest sub caste in the 12.3 million Dalit population in the state.