Not being sure of winning the next year’s Assembly polls, several top leaders of the Congress are lobbying for party ticket to sneak into the Legislative Council.
Former Assembly speaker KR Suresh Reddy, ex-ministers Mohammed Ali Shabbir and Kotagiri Vidyadhara Rao, several other heavyweights in the party are vying for the five MLC seats which the ruling party is sure of winning in the polls to be held on March 21 for 10 seats under the MLAs quota. Apart from the five, four seats for which the governor will nominate are also being eyed by the leaders who are desperate to enter the Upper House.
With YS Jaganmohan Reddy emerging as a formidable political force in the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, and the strong Telangana sentiment still sweeping the region, several Congress stalwarts are afraid of contesting direct election to the Assembly next year. Besides, an Assembly poll will place a heavy financial burden on them. Thus, several of them, who lost in the 2009 elections, are vigorously lobbying for an MLC seat which they think is a safe bet for them to stay in the legislature for six years irrespective of the party’s electoral fortunes in 2014.
Suresh Reddy, Shabbir, G Chinna Reddy and others have intensified their lobbying for party nomination for MLC seat and some of them are camping in Delhi and using their contacts in AICC to secure party nomination.
Apart from leaders themselves, several others from political families are also trying to become MLCs. Former deputy chief minister C Jagannadha Rao’s son Srinivas, ex-MP R Surender Reddy’s son R Raghuram Reddy and former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao’s daughter S Vani Devi are staking their claim. Some members of the family of Narasimha Rao even called on prime minister Manmohan Singh a day ago and lobbied on behalf of Vani Devi. Rao’s son, PV Ranga Rao, whose term in the Council under governor’s quota is ending on March 29, has also intensified lobbying for another term. Former minister Mallu Ananta Ramulu’s son Mallu Ramesh is trying his luck.
On the other hand, the five MLCs of the party, whose term is coming to an end on March 29, are also pressuring their party leadership for another term. Of them, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy and Indrasain Reddy are camping in Delhi.