The Telangana Congress is making all efforts to impress upon Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS) to contest on its Hand symbol rather than Matchbox, which was allotted to it, for effective transfer of votes from both the sides.

A proposal was made to the TJS in this regard, but it has rejected the idea saying that the new party would lose its identity. Moreover, all the candidates, if elected, would officially be considered Congress candidates.

TJS State committee member and Vikarabad district in-charge, Srisail Reddy Panjugula, said the proposal was rejected unanimously within the party. “The TJS would lose its identity and this will send a wrong signal to the cadre of both the parties.”

The Congress leaders, who made the proposal, feel the TJS needs to look at the situation realistically and there was not much time for the party to take its Matchbox symbol to the masses, and it may prove counter-productive for the candidates.

Since the contest could be tight given the strong contenders from the ruling party with money and influence, the symbol may make or mar the situation, a senior leader said on condition of anonymity.

Though TJS president M. Kodandaram has rejected outright the proposal, Congress party feels pressure would come from TJS nominees once the seats were finalised. “Even the candidates would prefer to go with a popular symbol than Matchbox that is yet to be familiarised with people,” the senior leader said.

Identifying the symbol

The urban and educated voters would be able to identify the symbol, but not the rural masses whose voting percentage was higher. It may lead to people voting for any independent even if they wanted to support the TJS candidates. The Congress party also feels that except Mr. Kodandaram, there were no heavyweights or popular leaders in the TJS with mass following.

If some mass leaders from the Congress enter the fray as rebels after being denied party ticket, it may further dent the votes as people also recognise the Congress candidates by names, given their popularity over the years.

Mr. Srisail Reddy exudes confidence that their own symbol could be taken to masses using the mass media extensively.

He reminds that transfer of votes from both the sides was crucial irrespective of the symbol that is allotted to the candidates.

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