TRS, Congress bigwigs to fight for LS
KCR feels stronger MP candidate can pull along MLAs; Congress leaders hope to cash in on anti-Modi trend
Several present and former MLAs of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Congress are planning to contest the next general election. TRS ministers and former Congress ministers are also likely to be in the fray.
The Congress leaders are showing more interest in the Lok Sabha elections because they are expecting the mood to turn against the BJP.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is of the opinion that if strong candidates are fielded for the Lok Sabha, it will have an effect on Assembly constituencies and will become easy for the TRS to win. According to sources in the TRS, Mr Rao has hinted that some Cabinet ministers should prepare to contest the Lok Sabha elections. While the ministers are willing to do so, they want Assembly tickets for their family members.
According to sources, animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivasa Yadav is likely to contest the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. But he wants the Sanathnagar Assembly ticket for his son. Deputy CM Kadiam Srihari will contest from the Warangal Lok Sabha constituency but wants his daughter to be given an Assembly ticket.
Transport minister P. Mahendar Reddy is likely to contest from the Chevella Lok Sabha constituency and present TRS MP Konda Visweswar Reddy may be shifted to the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency.
Finance minister Etela Rajendar may contest from the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency but wants his wife to be given an Assembly ticket. Roads and building Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao may contest from Khammam. Agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy may contest from Nizamabad if one of his sons is given an Assembly ticket. Major irrigation minister T. Harish Rao is likely to contest from Zaheerabad.
The TRS chief is planning to contest the Assembly seat from Gajwel and the Lok Sabha seat from Medak. A senior TRS leader, however, said that these are only speculations and the final decision will be taken by the Chief Minister at an appropriate time.
With their sights fixed on power at the Centre, Congress leaders prefer to contest Lok Sabha seats, hoping for an anti BJP and anti-Modi mood in the public.
Former minister Ponnala Laxmaiah wants to contest from Bhongir and former deputy CM Damodar Raja Narasimha wants to contest the Medak Lok Sabha seat. Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkatareddy has openly stated his preference for the Nalgonda Lok Sabha seat.
Sources in the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee say that the party is most likely to have an alliance with the CPI, in which case the Nalgonda Lok Sabha seat may be given to the CPI.
Former minister and MLA, J Geetha Reddy, is also keen on a Lok Sabha seat, preferably from Zaheerabad. Former MLA K. Laxma Reddy wants to contest the Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat. TPCC vicepresident and former MP Mallu Ravi will contest from Nagarkurnool and former minister Sabitha Indrareddy may contest from Chevella.