Congress panel finalises 63 names for Telangana Assembly polls

A key TPCC leader asserted that recently joined leaders had received a favourable assessment in the report submitted by election strategist Sunil Kanugolu.

Published: 23rd September 2023 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2023 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Amidst heated discussions, the Congress screening committee is believed to have finalised the names of 63 candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections. These names have been sent to the Congress central election committee for approval, with an announcement expected next week.According to sources, the discussions took a heated turn on the third day of the screening committee meeting held in the party war room in Delhi.

The main point of contention revolved around the selection of candidates for several Assembly segments, including Karimnagar, Yellareddy, Adilabad, Maheshwaram, Palakurthi, Peddapalli, Sircilla, Korutla, Wyra, Sattupalli, Jubilee Hills, Secunderabad, Uppal, Quthbullapur, Medchal, Tungaturti, LB Nagar, Mahbubnagar, Narayankhed, Husnabad, Adilabad and others.

A key TPCC leader asserted that recently joined leaders had received a favourable assessment in the report submitted by election strategist Sunil Kanugolu. This triggered a strong reaction from other committee members, who raised concerns about the survey’s methodology and demanded access to the survey data, citing potential bias.

Doubts over Kanugolu’s survey

Some committee members expressed doubts about Kanugolu’s survey, questioning how people with no significant political background could receive such favourable results.This led to heated discussions, with a majority of the committee members speaking against the key leader who supported the “parachute” candidates. Consequently, the committee chairman was asked to put off discussions on selecting candidates for the remaining segments.

Sources said that the Congress central election committee is likely to meet next week to approve the names and make an official announcement over the weekend.Meanwhile, tension is mounting among Telangana Congress leaders and aspirants for the remaining 56 segments. Aspirants are making their way to Delhi to lobby with influential party figures in their bid to secure a ticket.

In these 56 Assembly segments, three or more aspirants are fiercely competing for the party’s nomination. Consequently, the committee has decided to reconvene in Delhi next week to finalise two or three names for each segment, taking into account the recommendations of screening committee members.

Additionally, there is considerable discussion regarding Kanugolu’s survey, with allegations that no such survey was conducted by the poll strategist. Questions are being raised about how these “parachute” aspirants received higher marks than established party leaders, raising suspicions within the screening committee.

The BC factor

The screening committee also discussed ticket allocation for the BC (Backward Classes) community, with plans to allocate over 30 seats to this group. The committee requested reports from TPCC and Kanugolu regarding strong BC leaders who can secure victory in the elections and the suitable Assembly segments for them.

However, sources suggest that despite these discussions, only 20 to 24 tickets are likely to be allocated to BC leaders. This decision has caused tension within the party, particularly after TPCC president A Revanth Reddy announced that the party would allocate at least two Assembly segments in each parliamentary constituency to BC leaders.

Meanwhile, veterans say that the party will face a backlash if the selection of candidates is based primarily on surveys, rather than considering party loyalty and merit.Meanwhile, BC leaders are closely monitoring the developments to see if their expectations are met. Some BC leaders, on condition of anonymity, said that the party will witness a revolt if the expectations of the community are not met.

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