YSR wants to go with his own men
Hectic lobbying for Congress tickets for Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha seats is now on in New Delhi with both chief minister Rajasekhara Reddy and Pradesh Congress chief D Srinivas in the capital city.
In fact, the AICC screening committee for Andhra Pradesh headed by foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee met on Monday in Delhi in the backdrop of a raging cold war between YSR and D Srinivas, both of whom are trying to push their candidates for the Telangana region.
According to party sources, while YSR is trying to push through candidates who bear a strong personal allegiance to him and those who would argue in favour of a united Andhra Pradesh, Srinivas is not averse to candidates with strong sympathy for the T-cause.
Differences between the two surfaced over the candidate for Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat with the chief minister batting for Ponnam Prabhakar, former chairman of Markfed, while Srinivas pitched for Kamalakar, an MLC, who is going to retire from the Council next week. Kamalakar, known for his strong pro-Telangana stand, was denied renomination to the Council because of his pro T-stand.
YSR wants Suresh Reddy for the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency from where the PCC president himself is an aspirant along with sitting MP Madhu Yashki Goud. Unlike in the 14th Lok Sabha where he had no loyal supporters, Reddy wants young confidants in the next Lok Sabha to argue forcefully in support of his theory of a united state. At present, Telangana is full of CM baiters that include CWC member G Venkataswamy, Union ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Renuka Chowdhury and Nizamabad MP Madhu Yashki Goud. Analysts aver that YSR wants to rewrite the Telangana Congress story with his own men.
Apart from Prabhakar, YSR wants state irrigation minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah to contest from newly-formed Bhongir LS seat. Ponnala Lakshmaiah is being offered Bhongir with the assurance that the Jangoan assembly constituency that he occupies now would be given to his daughter-in-law Vaishali.
Similarly, the chief minister is offering Nalgonda LS seat to either N Uttam Kumar Reddy, MLA from Kodad in the district or R Damodar Reddy, minister for IT, sports and youth affairs. For Chevella Lok Sabha constituency, P Karthik Reddy, son of another minister Sabita Indra Reddy, has YSR's blessings. Incidentally, Union urban development minister S Jaipal Reddy is pitching for the Chevella constituency.
Among other Telangana constituencies, the Nagarkurnool LS seat in Mahbubnagar has already been promised to Manda Jagannadham, the TDP MP who cross-voted in favour of the Congress in last year's vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha. Well known CM baiter and Rajya Sabha MP V Hanumantha Rao is lobbying for newly-formed Malkajgiri Lok Sabha constituency even as indomitable Union minister Renuka Chowdhury seems to be irreplaceable in Khammam.