Congress leaders from Telangana are divided over the issue of contesting the byelections to 12 Assembly constituencies as a section of the party cadre has strong reservations over the suggestions of some senior leaders that they should not enter the poll fray.
Congress Working Committee member K. Keshava Rao, among others, had suggested at a meeting of party seniors that the Congress take note of the sentiments of the people of Telangana and refrain from fielding candidates for the vacant seats.
Several aspirants, pinning hopes on the byelections, are accusing the seniors of trying to indirectly help the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).
They dared the seniors to approach the high command and air their views. They are confident that in multi-cornered contests, the party would benefit.
“Every time elections are held in the region, they are toeing the TRS' line. As a national party, the Congress must contest the elections. Though the party is weak in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, that has never refrained it from putting up candidates in successive elections,” former APSRTC chairman Gone Prakash questioned.
The two-day tour of Nizamabad Urban constituency by Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president D. Srinivas has also evoked curiosity whether he was testing the ground to enter the fray.
But pressure is building on him from his constituents to contest.
It is understood that former Minister Md. Ali Shabbir, having lost the race for the Legislative Council seat, now wants to contest the bypolls from Yellareddy.
Another former Minister G. Vinod is eyeing the Chennur seat, while J. Ratnakar Rao wants the ticket for his son from Korutla.