The Congress party’s trademark politics and backroom manoeuvring in the last 48 hours left the CPI fuming as it found itself losing two seats, allotted to it as part of the poll alliance.

As part of the electoral understanding, the Congress had allotted the Khammam Lok Sabha and eight Assembly seats to the CPI. But, in a surprising and dramatic development that cornered the top leadership of the Congress, Kodad and Maheshwaram were taken away and given to its candidates.

Uttam has his way

According to highly-placed sources, TPCC working president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy managed to circumvent the ‘one family, one ticket’ norm to ensure that his wife Padmavati got the Kodad ticket. Curiously, the seat was not among the 111 announced by the AICC a few days ago. It was understood that the seat has been given to the CPI as part of electoral pact. “The seat was not announced along with other names as it could have created a furore,” a senior TPCC leader said.

But enquiries reveal that Mr. Uttam Kumar ensured that only one name was recommended by the Nalgonda DCC and the TPCC too. When the screening committee scrutinised the applications, they found that only Ms. Padmavati’s name had been recommended by the district unit. To avoid any controversy, the party leadership kept the seat on hold but issued directions that the B-form be issued to her on the last day.

High drama preceded the issuance of B-form to Malreddy Ranga Reddy for the Maheswaram seat, which was allotted to the CPI. The party, in fact, had named its former RS member Azeez Pasha for the seat. The seat was represented by former Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, who was denied ticket on the ground that her son P. Karthik Reddy was given the Chevella parliamentary seat.

Sources said Mr. Ranga Reddy reportedly took a top Telangana Congress leader to Delhi and told the high command that if he was not fielded from Maheswaram, he would enter the fray as a rebel from neighbouring Ibrahimpatnam, which he had aspired for. The ticket was given to Ranga Reddy DCC president K. Mallesh leaving Mr. Ranga Reddy fuming. Sensing trouble, the party is said to have asked the TPCC president to give the B-form to Mr. Ranga Reddy. Prior to that, a senior leader spoke to Ms. Sabitha and convinced her about the party’s decision to give the B-form to the former MLA.

Keywords: Congress backroomCPI

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