Congress still in a dilemma over Khammam Lok Sabha ticket

by IANS |



Hyderabad, April 23 (IANS) With just two days to go for the filing of nominations for Lok Sabha elections in Telangana, the Congress party is yet to announce its candidate for the Khammam seat.


With family members of three ministers and some others aspiring for the ticket, the party leadership is finding it difficult to choose a nominee.


The issue reached Bengaluru, where Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka and Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy reportedly met Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister, DK Shivakumar on Monday.


The two ministers later also had separate meetings with AICC President Mallikarjun Kharge, who was in Bengaluru. Party sources said Kharge will take a final decision.


Bhatti Vikramarka’s wife Nandini and Srinivas Reddy’s brother Prasad Reddy are strong contenders for the ticket.


Agriculture Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao wants the ticket for his son Yugandhar.


The minister, however, made it clear that he will abide by the decision of the party high command.


While both Srinivas Reddy and Nageswara Rao joined the Congress party before Assembly elections held in November 2023, Vikramarka is a senior leader, who has remained loyal to the Congress party over the years.


Since Vikramarka’s brother Mallu Ravi is contesting as a Congress candidate from Nagarkurnool, a section of the party leaders are opposing ticket to another member of his family.


Former Warangal MP, R Surender Reddy's son R Raghurami Reddy is also in the race.


There is speculation in Congress circles that the party may also field former minister Mandava Venkateshwara Rao, who hails from Nizamabad District.


As the majority of party leaders in Khammam are pressing for fielding a local candidate, the leadership is likely to allot ticket to Nandini or Prasad Reddy.


As Khammam is a stronghold of the Congress party, there are multiple contenders for the ticket.


Former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury was also an aspirant but she was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha.


The state leadership of the Congress party had requested the high command to field former party chief Sonia Gandhi or senior leader Priyanka Gandhi from Khammam but the high command rejected the proposal.


The delay in announcing the candidate has led to confusion among the party cadres and affected the party's poll preparations, even as both the BJP and BRS are ahead in campaigning.


Though the Congress leadership has not officially announced candidates for three Lok Sabha seats, Velichela Rajender Rao filed his nomination for the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat on Monday after the party leadership gave its nod.


The Congress has also not announced its candidate for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. However, Hyderabad district Congress committee chief, Sameer Waliullah is reportedly preparing to file his nomination.


The Congress party has already announced its candidates for 14 seats.


Fresh from its victory in the Assembly elections, the party is confident of winning maximum Lok Sabha seats.


In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party had bagged three seats. Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy has been exuding confidence that the Congress will win 12 seats.



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