Congress leaders in Telangana demand tickets for kin
With the Congress finding it tough to work out seat-share adjustments with partners in the proposed grand alliance — TDP, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi — many party leaders are doing the rounds of New Delhi to pressure the high command to give tickets to their family members.Updated: Sep 26, 2018 23:35 IST
Overlooking the one-family-one-ticket norm often held up by the Congress high command, senior party leaders in Telangana are lobbying for tickets for themselves as well as their family members for the upcoming assembly elections.
With the party finding it tough to work out seat-share adjustments with partners in the proposed grand alliance — Telugu Desam Party, CPI and Telangana Jana Samithi — many Congress leaders are doing the rounds of New Delhi to pressure the high command to give tickets to their family members.
A senior leader of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) said there were at least a dozen senior leaders lobbying for party tickets for their family members.
“Already, the Congress has to sacrifice 25-30 seats to alliance partners as part of seat-sharing. If the party entertains the demands of seniors to give tickets to their kin, hardly any seats would be left for others,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.
Describing the demand as “family packages”, he said it would send wrong signals to the cadre. “We have been accusing Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao of encouraging family rule in his party. How can we encourage the same in the Congress?” he asked.
Leading the pack is PCC president N Uttam Kumar Reddy, who is planning to contest from Huzurnagar in Nalgonda district. He wants his wife Padmavathi to be given the ticket for a second term from Kodad constituency.
Another senior leader, K Jana Reddy, met party president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Tuesday along with his son Raghuveer Reddy. Jana Reddy, who represented Nagarjunasagar constituency in the recently dissolved assembly, wants to shift to Miryalguda so that his son can contest from his present seat.
Jana Reddy, however, denied lobbying for his son. “I have not made any such recommendation. It is for the high command to decide who should contest from where,” he said.
Even former minister Konda Surekha, who defected from the TRS to the Congress in Gandhi’s presence on Wednesday in New Delhi, claimed that her daughter, Sushmita, would contest the assembly elections this time. Surekha’s husband, Konda Murali, is already an MLC.
Former minister DK Aruna, a popular leader from Gadwal in south Telangana, wants a ticket for her daughter, Snigdha Reddy, from Makthal constituency, which was represented in the past by Aruna’s father and brother.
Similarly, former home minister of combined Andhra Pradesh Sabita Indra Reddy is asking for the party ticket for herself from Maheshwaram and for her son, Karthik Reddy, from Rajendranagar.
Former Secunderabad MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and his son, Anil Kumar Yadav, now a Youth Congress leader, also want tickets for the assembly elections. Former deputy chief minister Damodar Raj Narasimha is lobbying for a ticket for his wife, Padmini, apart from his own seat at Andole in Medak district.
There are some Congress leaders who want to contest the Lok Sabha elections, but want assembly poll tickets for their kin. One example is former union minister Sarvey Satyanarayana, who wants to contest the general elections from Malkajgiri again, but wants his son-in-law, Krishank, to contest the assembly polls from Secunderabad Cantonment.
Another former union minister P Balram Naik, who represented Mahbubabad Lok Sabha constituency, is seeking a party ticket for his son, Sairam Naik, from Mahbubabad or Yellandu assembly constituency. So is former minister R Damodar Reddy who is ready to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Miryalguda, but wants an assembly poll ticket for his son, Sarvotham Reddy, from Bhongir.
Others lobbying for “family packages” are: former chief whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy for a ticket from Bhupalpalli and his wife Jyothy from Warangal (East); former minister Mukesh Goud for a ticket from Goshamahal and his son Vikram Goud from Musheerabad; former minister J Geetha Reddy for a ticket from Zaheerabad and her daughter Meghana Reddy from a suitable assembly constituency; and former PCC chief Ponnala Laxmaiah for a ticket from Jangaon plus a ticket for his daughter-in-law, Vaishali.
First Published: Sep 26, 2018 23:35 IST