Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu, who created a record of sorts by completing 150 days of padayatra, is coming under increasing pressure as March 11 is approaching fast.
It is not about attending the budget session of the Assembly which starts on March 13 but about whom to pick for the three MLC seats which his party is sure of winning in the elections for ten Legislative Council seats under the MLAs quota slated for March 21.
Ironically, the TDP, which had opposed revival of the Legislative Council in the state during the regime of YS Rajasekhara Reddy tooth and nail, is now witnessing a mad scramble among its leaders for seats in the Council.
As the last date for filing nominations ends on March 11, party leaders are queuing up before Naidu to test their luck to enter the Upper House. Former Assembly speaker K Pratibha Bharati, ex-ministers Kadiyam Srihari and Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy and several others who are not sure of winning the 2014 Assembly elections are persuading their boss to consider them for a seat in the Council.
Naidu might be exuding confidence that his party would sweep the general election next year and regain power in the state but his comrades seem to be skeptical about their party’s winning chances. Therefore, several leaders have set their sights on Council seats which would provide them an opportunity to be in the House for six long years irrespective of the political outcome of the 2014 Assembly elections.
The three TDP MLCs whose term is ending on March 29 are P Yadagiri, Sidda Raghava Rao and Ibrahim bin Abdullah Masqati. They are expecting to be fielded again by the party. But Naidu is understood to be averse to giving a second chance to them. He wants Raghava Rao and Masqati to contest the Assembly elections next year.
The term of leader of the opposition in the Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, who was elected to the Upper House from the local bodies constituency, will end by the end of May.