Kcr will force ls by­poll on congress

Nal­go­nda’s sit­ting Lok Sabha MP may re­sign in Oc­to­ber to take up a top post in a newly set up farm­ers’ body.

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Congress’ tally in the Lok Sabha may of­fi­cially go down from 44 to 43, as TRS pres­i­dent and Te­lan­gana Chief Min­is­ter K. Chan­drasekhar Rao (KCR) is set to force a by­elec­tion to the Nal­go­nda Par­lia­ment seat soon. Nal­go­nda sit­ting MP Gutta Suk­ender Reddy, who de­fected to the TRS two years ago, is ex­pected to re­sign by the first week of Oc­to­ber to take up a top post in a newly set up farm­ers’ body, with Cab­i­net rank.

Congress, which has suf­fered a blow with the exit of Suk­ender Reddy, one of the two LS MPs elected from Te­lan­gana in 2014, is un­likely to re­tain this seat due to a va­ri­ety of fac­tors. Congress, which was in power for a decade ear­lier, is a be­lea­guered pack in Te­lan­gana due to ag­gres­sive poach­ing of its lead­ers and cadre by TRS It is crip­pled by fac­tion feuds in Nal­go­nda dis­trict.

Named as “Rythu Sa­man­vaya Samithi” (farm­ers’ co­or­di­na­tion body), this new of­fi­cial or­gan­i­sa­tion would en­sure re­mu­ner­a­tive prices for farm pro­duce and look af­ter the dis­tri­bu­tion of govern­ment grant to farm­ers at the rate of Rs 8,000 per acre from next year’s agri­cul­ture sea­son that be­gins in May/June. This body will have multi-lay­ered elected struc­tures from the vil­lage level.

KCR has de­cided to ap­point Sukhen­der Reddy, a twoterm MP from Nal­go­nda, as the chair­man of this farm­ers’ body to demon­strate his pop­u­lar­ity among the elec­torate of Te­lan­gana, a lit­tle over a year be­fore the next gen­eral elec­tions in early 2019. At the same time, the Chief Min­is­ter wants to in­flict a crush­ing de­feat on the Congress, which is as­pir­ing to come to power in the state next time round.

By opt­ing for a by­elec­tion to the Nal­go­nda LS seat, KCR wants to re­move the stigma of lur­ing three MPs (in­clud­ing Suk­ender Reddy) from other par­ties into TRS. The other two are M. Malla Reddy (TDP MP from Malka­ji­giri) and Ponguleti Sud­hakar Reddy ( YSR Congress MP from Kham­mam). Win­ning the Nal­go­nda by­polls will prove that the peo­ple are with TRS.

The process of get­ting Suk­ender Reddy elected from the vil­lage level has al­ready be­gun. Reddy was made a mem­ber of the Uru­madla vil­lage farm­ers’ com­mit­tee last week and later he was made a mem­ber of Chityal man­dal level panel. Next week, he will be sent to the Nal­go­nda dis­trict level com­mit­tee and by the month end, he will be ap­pointed to the state level body and then its chair­man.

Suk­ender Reddy con­firmed his in­volve­ment with the Rythu Sa­man­vaya Samithi while talk­ing to on Saturday. “I will def­i­nitely be re­sign­ing from the LS once I am ap­pointed to a state level post with Cab­i­net rank. But, the tim­ing of res­ig­na­tion etc., will be de­cided by the Chief Min­is­ter,” he told this newspaper.

Suk­ender Reddy de­clined to go into who will con­test the by-poll to his seat from TRS on the ground that the party pres­i­dent would take care of such things. How­ever, sources in TRS said that Tera Chin­napa Reddy, who un­suc­cess­fully con­tested Assem­bly elec­tions from Nal­go­nda dis­trict in 2014, would be the TRS nom­i­nee to the LS by­elec­tion.

While TRS is up­beat with de­fec­tions from other par­ties and rolling out of many wel­fare schemes, the Op­po­si­tion is di­vided. Congress will have to share anti-in­cum­bency space with other Op­po­si­tion par­ties—TDP and BJP— which are al­lies in neigh­bour­ing Andhra Pradesh, but re­cently parted ways in Te­lan­gana.

KCR is keen on win­ning a by-elec­tion with a good mar­gin at least a year be­fore the gen­eral elec­tions to boost the morale of his party cadre. He is par­tic­u­larly im­pressed with the gains made by TDP which won the Nandyal Assem­bly by­elec­tion by a hand- some mar­gin of 27,000 votes last month. This win has en­er­gised the rul­ing party in AP while damp­ened the spirits of Op­po­si­tion YSR Congress.

More­over, TRS lead­ers came to know of the ef­forts by the Congress top brass to en­sure that Suk­ender Reddy was dis­qual­i­fied from LS for his de­fec­tion as well as vi­o­la­tion of the party whip in re­cent elec­tions to Pres­i­dent and Vice-Pres­i­dent and GST vot­ing.

KCR wants to pre-empt the Congress’ moves by get­ting Reddy to re­sign and force a by-poll.

A woman pre­pares food out­side her par­tially sub­merged house in a flood-af­fected vil­lage in Sonit­pur dis­trict of As­sam on Monday. REUTERS

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