HYDERABAD : The state Congress can win two out of the three Rajya Sabha seats in the elections to be held on February 27 given its strength in the State Legislative Assembly.
On Monday, the Election Commission of India issued a notification for election of 56 members to the Rajya Sabha as the tenure of incumbents, including three BRS members — Vaddiraju Ravichandra, Joginapally Santhosh Kumar and Badugula Lingaiah Yadav — will end in April.
There is heavy competition for the Rajya Sabha seats among Congress leaders. Senior leaders, including K Jana Reddy, Renuka Chowdhury, G Chinna Reddy, Madhu Yashki Goud, Ch Vamshi Chand Reddy, SA Sampath, Bellaiah Naik, Addanki Dayakar, V Hanumantha Rao and Sare Satyanarayana, are vying for seats.
The BRS is likely to renominate one of its three outgoing Rajya Sabha MPs. The Congress has 64 MLAs in the Assembly and the BRS 39. To win, a candidate needs at least 30 first preference votes. Recent political developments such as BRS MLAs paying a courtesy call on Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy have fuelled suspicions of cross-voting that could help the ruling party walk away with all the three Rajya Sabha seats.
Sonia to be fielded?
The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) could also nominate Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi to the Upper House from the state as a token of gratitude for her role in ensuring statehood.
The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) recently passed a resolution requesting Sonia to contest from Telangana in the Lok Sabha elections. Party sources said that given her health condition, she may not contest in the Lok Sabha polls.
At this juncture, it is learnt that the TPCC is planning to nominate her from the state to Rajya Sabha. The state Congress effectively campaigned that she had paved the way for creation of a separate Telangana. This strategy, the Congress believes, would benefit the party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections too.
In case Sonia declines the proposal of the TPCC, it is likely that AICC will nominate an important leader from outside to Rajya Sabha from Telangana. Speaking to TNIE, TPCC working president and MLC B Mahesh Kumar Goud confirmed the same.