Telangana election: Congress bends rules to retain heavyweights for big battle

AICC has relaxed several rules like one ticket per family and no tickets for candidates older than 70.  

Published: 30th October 2018 07:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2018 07:23 AM   |  A+A-

TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy speaks at a meeting organised by All India Christian Federation | Express photo

Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  With the Congress facing a now-or-never situation in the State, the AICC has put aside several criteria it brought in for selection of candidates. As a result, all party bigwigs in the State have managed to secure a ticket. AICC has relaxed several rules like one ticket per family and no tickets for candidates older than 70.  

Though one ticket for a family rule is still followed, it will not be applicable to those who have already contested. According to the insiders, powerful leaders like  Uttam Kumar Reddy couple, Komatireddy brothers, Sabita Indira Reddy, Karthik Reddy, Geetha Reddy, Jana Reddy and others have found place in the list being finalised by the Screening Committee headed by Bhakta Charan Das. 

The one family one ticket rule was relaxed to boost the party’s prospects. Both TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and his wife Padmavati  Reddy have good connect with people and have no real opponents in their constituencies thus making them most-probable choices. Similarly, both Komatireddy brothers are perceived as easy bets for Congress in Nalgonda  district.

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Again, in undivided Rangareddy district, former minister Sabitha Indra Reddy’s name is being finalised from Maheswaram constituency. Her son Karthik Reddy’s name is being proposed for Rajendranagar as he has been politically active prior to these elections. However, Karthik may have to forego his seat if  Rajendranagar is left to TDP as part of alliance.

“Though AICC has set some rules for candidates’ selection across India, it is the decision of concerned PCC to choose which criteria to follow. Considering the political situation in Telangana, we have  relaxed certain rules like ‘one ticket for one family’. While two members active in the poll arena might still get tickets despite being from same family, newcomers from families of senior leaders will have to wait. Winning chances and social justice are two criteria that we will follow,” said senior leader RC Khuntia. 

As a result, political heirs of senior leaders like DK Aruna, K Jana Reddy, J Geetha  Reddy, Ramreddy Damodar Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah and others might have to wait till next polls to test their luck. Meanwhile, Jana Reddy and  Geetha Reddy have been selected keeping aside the age bar of 70+. 

Other prominent leaders who have been okayed by Screening Committee are longtime Congress loyalists G Chinna Reddy, T Jeevan Reddy, Shabbir Ali, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, P Sudarshan Reddy, D Sridhar Babu. Besides Revanth Reddy who shifted from TDP to Congress, several new entrants into Congress like Nagam Janardhan Reddy, Seethakka, Pratap Reddy have also been okayed.  

Anxious aspirants step up pressure
AICC’s screening committee which overseas candidates selection met on Monday  in Hyderabad. It is expected to present final list to Congress High Command shortly. TPCC chief announced that even seat sharing talks will be finalised in the next 2-3 days. As a result several ticket aspirants from Congress have been pressuring TPCC leadership to ensure that their constituency is not allotted to allies.

Kavita is Telangana’s Sasikala, says Yashki
AICC secretary Madhu Yashki Goud took dig at KCR family saying KTR’s mouth is fouler than Musi and Kavitha is Telangana’s Sasikala with regards to amassing assets.

KCR is Modi’s ‘chamcha’, claims Uttam
State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy has said that Christians and Christian organisations are facing several problems after Narendra Modi became PM. Accusing the BJP of targeting certain religious and caste groups, he claimed only Congress could ensure the development and safety of all communities. “TRS chief KCR is a chamcha (lackey) of Modi.

He had gone to Delhi to strike a secret deal with BJP. He has secretly met Modi. Voting for TRS is voting for  BJP. Only Congress can ensure the well being of people of all  religions,” said Uttam Kumar Reddy, speaking at a meet organised by All India Christian Federation. 

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