VIJAYAWADA: In a surprise move, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy nominated BC Welfare Association national president and former TDP MLA Ryaga Krishnaiah to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The nomination of senior leaders V Vijayasai Reddy, former MLA TDP Beeda Mastan Rao and advocate S Niranjan Reddy, however, was on the expected lines.
The YSRC, once again, has stuck with its policy of empowering the Backward Classes (BC) by choosing two BC leaders to represent the party in the RS. Two leaders from the Reddy community have been nominated. It may be noted that Krishnaiah and Niranjan Reddy are from Telangana. Sources said, Krishnaiah’s role in leading several agitations for the welfare of BCs—forcing successive governments to issue GOs in favour of the community—played a crucial role in the YSRC choosing him for the post.
By nominating Krishnaiah to the Upper House of the Parliament, the party wants to further penetrate into the vote bank of Opposition TDP, the BCs, sources added. After senior party leaders Vijayasai Reddy, Botcha Satyanarayana and others held discussions with the CM, Krishnaiah received a call from the Chief Minister’s office as well as from party general secretary and government advisor Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy on Monday night, asking him to come to Tadepalli, sources said. Thanking Jagan for nominating him to the Rajya Sabha, Krishnaiah said he fought for the welfare of BCs living in Telangana as well as Andhra Pradesh.
The BC leader had successfully contested the 2014 elections from LB Nagar Assembly seat in Hyderabad of Telangana but lost the election in 2019 from Miryalaguda segment on Congress ticket. Krishnaiah has met Jagan a couple of times, after the latter become the chief minister, and praised the YSRC’s pro-BC agenda. Current RS MP Vijayasai Reddy has been re-nominated, leaving several aspirants, such as former union minister Killi Krupa Rani and former MP YV Subba Reddy, behind.
Announcing the names of the four RS nominees, education minister Botcha Satyanarayana said they have selected Krishnaiah and Beeda Mastan as part of their BC empowerment agenda. Asked why a BC leader from Telangana was nominated, Botcha maintained that the issue of Andhra and Telangana does not arise in the case of Krishnaiah as he is a national leader representing the BCs.
Asserting that the YSRC stands for the empowerment of backward classes unlike the TDP which just boasts of being a party for the BCs, Sajjala said, “We have prioritised SCs, STs and BCs in all the nominated posts and even in the temple trust boards.’’Beeda Mastan Rao was a former MLA representing TDP but joined YSRC after the 2019 elections whereas Niranjan Reddy is a well-known advocate who fought the quid pro quo cases filed against Jagan Mohan Reddy by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). During the previous tenure, the party had nominated Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose and Mopidevi Venkataramana Rao, both from the BC community, for the posts.