CM Camp May Test Strength in RS Polls - The New Indian Express

CM Camp May Test Strength in RS Polls

Published: 21st January 2014 08:50 AM

Last Updated: 21st January 2014 11:00 AM

Is Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy planning to use the ensuing Rajya Sabha polls to know his ‘actual strength’ among Seemandhra Congress MLAs? Do some of the fence-sitters in the Congress from Seemandhra want to field their own candidate for one seat of the three which the party can comfortably win?

Giving scope to these questions, some fence-sitters in Seemandhra Congress, particularly MLAs from twin Godavari districts, on Monday held a meeting in the Assembly lobbies under the leadership of Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Erasu Pratap Reddy.

“It could be the final opportunity for the Seemandhra Congress MLAs to elect Rajya Sabha members as the party’s electoral future appears bleak in our region after the 2014 polls. Hence, we want to use this occasion to elect a leader of our choice at least for one seat,” an MLA, who had taken part in the meeting, said.

He also argued that if they bluntly followed the diktat of their Delhi bosses and voted for the party’s official nominee, their ongoing fight against the Centre’s T decision could be seen by the people as an ‘orchestrated one’ as per the AICC script.

The MLA said they were contemplating fielding an independent as per the direction of Kiran.  The competition for the three seats, which the Congress can win, is intensifying.

As the Congress electoral future appears bleak, Seemandhra leaders including Botcha Satyanarayana and several Union Ministers are eying the Upper House route to retain their positions.

Of the five Congress members who are retiring — KVP Ramachandra Rao, Mohmed Ali Khan, Nandi Yellaiah, T Subbirami Reddy and T Ratna Bai — KVP and Khan may be renominated as they have held only one term.

A minister said the party high command wants to use the RS election to promote loyalists, particularly from downtrodden classes, and might consider the name of Koppula Raju, chairman of AICC SC cell, for one seat.

As each member needs 39 votes, the Congress, which has 146 MLAs, can hope to win three if all its MLAs from Seemandhra cooperate. The TDP can win two seats with its present strength of 79 legislators whereas the fate of the sixth seat will be decided by the moves of all other parties along with surplus members of Congress and TDP. 

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