HYDERABAD: As different political parties weigh their options of candidates for the Huzurabad Assembly bypoll, the Congress has kept its plans under wraps, particularly after the inopportune exit of P Kaushik Reddy from the party. Though a new hope in the form of A Revanth Reddy has boosted the Congress’ confidence, the party is yet to zero in on a candidate.
Besides former MP Ponnam Prabhkar, who represents the BC community and is considered suitable to take on the TRS, the names of a few other leaders from the Reddy community are also making the rounds. “Ponnam, being a leader since the NSUI, commands good support within the constituency. If the party is taking this election seriously, he should be the candidate,” said a local political observer.
The constituency of 2.3 lakh has around 35,000 to 40,000 SC voters, but the dearth of strong leaders from these communities is forcing the Congress to yet again consider fielding a candidate from the Reddy community, who would have the capacity to not only mobilise finances but also restore the vote bank of 2018, when Kaushik Reddy was a candidate for the Congress.
At least two names, including that of KK Mahender Reddy, who had earlier contested from Sircilla in the 2018 Assembly elections, and Patti Krishna Reddy, who recently tried to get the attention of the State leadership by reacting to Kaushik Reddy’s statements, are amongst the probable nominees.
Mahender is known for strengthening the TRS in Sircilla before Telangana formation and later turning rebellious after KCR’s decision to field KTR from the constituency over a decade ago. He, however, is a not a local. Krishna is a leader who defected to the party from the CPM recently and is a local who has support in a few pockets.
The seniors, including Ponnam, remain reluctant to shoulder the responsibility of the Huzurabad bypoll given the party’s performance over the past four decades. “To make a dent on KCR’s legacy, Eatala’s win is a must. Revanth is a visionary and may not field a strong candidate, given the bleak chances of the party’s win, particularly in view of the sops being showered on voters by the TRS,” said a TPCC leader.
Implement new SC scheme without discrimination: Dalit Bahujan Front
The speakers at a round table conference on ‘whether SC empowerment is possible with Dalit Bandhu scheme’, organised by Dalit Bahujan Front (DBF) at Ambedkar Bhavan on Tuesday, opined that the State government should extend the scheme to all 20,900 families in Huzurabad constituency before the notification for bypoll is issued. Retired IAS officer T Gopal Rao said that the SC/ST Development Fund Act is being violated in the State as over `31,000 crore were not utilised in the past seven years