HYDERABAD: With the opposition upping the ante against the ruling TRS with an eye on the upcoming Warangal bypoll, party president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday went into a huddle with his party seniors, ministers, MLAs, MPs and leaders from Warangal district, to zero in on a winning horse for the prestigious Lok Sabha seat.
While entrusting a senior minister each to the Assembly segments in the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency, KCR said he himself would campaign for the party candidate for two days. Though no official announcement was made, it is learnt that Gudimalla Ravi Kumar was the most preferred candidate, sources said adding that a decision will be out Friday. There were several other aspirants including non-locals like Errolla Srinivas. The sources said KCR called Ravi Kumar an educated and intelligent person capable of raising State issues in Parliament. The Chief Minister chaired the meeting convened to chalk out the bypoll strategy.
The TRS will start its poll campaign with an Assembly-level meeting on November 1. KCR will campaign on November 17 and 18, just days before the polling day, to boost the winning chances of the party candidate. It is learnt that during the brainstorming session, he made it clear that only a local candidate will be given the chance. This came in the wake of reports that TRS leaders from Warangal have sent signals to the party leadership that they would not extend cooperation if a non-local candidate was in the contest.
With nearly five leaders aspiring for the MP seat, the TRS chief sought to pacify the unlucky ones, hinting that they would be suitably rewarded.
“I have not filled nominated posts just to see that those who did not get the ticket will be rewarded this way,” KCR reportedly said and asked the party leaders to work unitedly and see that the party wins the by-election with a thumping majority.
The Congress, on the other hand, is in a tight spot with senior leader G Vivek turning down the party’s appeal to contest the election. With Vivek’s refusal, the Congress is in a quandry to find a candidate to take on TRS.