Seven Remain in Fray for RS Polls in AP - The New Indian Express

Seven Remain in Fray for RS Polls in AP

Published: 01st February 2014 09:31 AM

Last Updated: 01st February 2014 09:31 AM

Keeping the six official nominees of various political parties in the Rajya Sabha polls slated for February 7 on the tenterhooks, Congress rebel candidate Adala Prabhakar Reddy remained in the fray making the election certain for the six seats.

However, another Congress rebel KVV Satyanarayana Raju alias Chaitanya Raju withdrew himself from the race after he was persuaded by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy to do so.

Following this, seven candidates, including one Congress rebel, are in the election fray.

Friday, the last day for withdrawal of nominations, witnessed several twists and turns similar to the high-voltage drama that had taken place on Wednesday in the Congress camp, the day when nominations were scrutinised.

Initially, one hour before the ending of the deadline for withdrawal of nominations, that is about 2 p.m. on Friday, Chaitanaya Raju appeared before the returning officer and secretary of State Legislature Rajasadaram and submitted his withdrawal papers to him, stating that he was pulling himself out of the race. Raju came to the Assembly secretariat flanked by ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Erasu Pratap Reddy and Sake Sailajanath, close aides of the chief minister.

According to sources, Raju backed out of the race after he was persuaded by the chief minister. However, Kiran Reddy’s efforts to make Adala Prabhakar Reddy to fall in line did not pay off.

There was a little confusion for a while over Prabhakar Reddy’s continuance in the race as one of his seconders C Venkataramaiah, MLA of Gajuwaka, submitted a letter to the returning officer claiming that Reddy was withdrawing himself from the contest. But, soon after this development, Prabhakar Reddy rang up the returning officer and informed him that he was very much in the race.

Following this, Rajasadaram announced that seven candidates remained in the fray making elections to the six seats compulsory. He added that elections to these seats would be held on Feb 7, as per the schedule.

Later, speaking to reporters, Prabhakar Reddy said though he was under pressure from the ruling party to withdraw his nomination, he had decided to stay in the fray on Samaikyandhra plank.

When asked about the letter of withdrawal, submitted to the returning officer, on behalf of him by MLA Venkataramaiah, Reddy said he never thought of pulling himself out of the contest.

“When Kiran Reddy had called me and asked me to withdraw my nomination, I only told him I would think over it. But, I never obliged his suggestion. I will file a criminal case on those who forged my signature on the withdrawal form, which was brought by Venkataramaiah,” he added.

TDP may face the T-heat

There is an argument that Prabhakar Reddy, who is reportedly leaning towards the TDP to contest the ensuing general polls, has been in the fray at the behest of the TDP leadership.  However, Reddy’s continuance in the contest might affect the winning chances of the TDP official nominees also. As there is some discontent among the TDP T legislators over fielding Garikapati ignoring Motkupally, the odds are that some Telangana MLAs of the party might resort to cross-voting to back TRS candidate, thus cutting into the electoral fortunes of Mohan Rao.

Congress nominees may suffer

As Prabhakar Reddy is Congress MLA and is being backed by some of the Samaikyandhra votaries in the party, his candidature might affect any of the party’s official nominees from Seemandhra such as KVP Ramachandra Rao and T Subbirami Reddy. The buzz in the Congress circles is that Subbirami Reddy might have to face the negative impact as some of the MLAs, who had proposed Prabhakar Reddy’s candidature, had already questioned their party leadership’s decision to renominate Subbirami Reddy, saying his contribution to Samaikyandhra movement was nothing. There is also the possibility of party’s another nominee, MA Khan, who is from Telangana, feeling the negative impact of party’s rebel being in the contest.

Is TRS candidate safe in the ring?

Though Prabhakar Reddy is claiming that he is in the race as the Congress rebel only to utilise the surplus votes in the party, which could be transferred to the separatist TRS, the chances of pink party’s nominee K Keshava Rao bearing the brunt of Congress rebel remaining in the race is remote. The TRS has 17 legislators. If the 26 surplus votes of the Congress are fully transferred to Keshava Rao, then Rao will win the polls comfortably. The TRS leadership feels that the possibility of cross-voting from the Telangana Congress camp is bleak as Keshava Rao is a former Congress man and Telangana crusader. However, the pink party’s leadership says that even if some cross-voting takes place from the Congress camp, its nominee will win the race as the party is confident that he can cross the hurdle with the help of the votes of MIM (7), BJP (4) and CPI (4).

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