The Congress list of candidates for the Seemandhra region may find as many as 75 new faces making their electoral debut in the May 7 elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha. Less than three dozen sitting MLAs have evinced interest in contesting the elections.
The list of aspirants comprising three for each segment prepared after an elaborate exercise by APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy and other senior leaders has been taken to Delhi for screening by the party’s central leadership.
Mr. Reddy along with Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi and former PCC chief Botcha Satyanaryana left for Delhi on Wednesday evening for a meeting with AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh and other seniors. The party had received as many as 1,160 applications for the Assembly and 175 for Parliament seats. The list sent by the district units, applications received directly and the names suggested by the sitting MPs have been consolidated to prepare the tentative list of aspirants.
According to APCC sources, Mr. Reddy spoke to as many as 35 sitting MLAs to get their consent to contest the elections. “It is very clear now that there will be an overwhelming number of new faces. We want to prepare a new generation of leadership for the 2019 elections too,” a top APCC functionary said.
Former Ministers – Md. Ahmedullah and Gade Venkat Reddy sought time. Some MLAs like G. V. Seshu (Kondepi) and Kamalamma (Badvel) wanted ticket for their siblings. Puthalpattu MLA P. Ravi requested for additional time. Names of former Ministers - K. Parthasarathy and Maheedhar Reddy -- were not included as there was no word from them.
Former Ministers – Kondru Murali Mohan, Botcha Satyanarayana, P. Balaraju, Kanna Laksminarayana, Kasu Venkatakrishna Reddy, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad and Anam Ramanarayana Reddy’s names have been included for the Assembly elections.
Among the MPs – Killi Krupa Rani (Srikakulam), Botcha Jhansi (Vizianagaram), K.C. Deo (Araku), M.M. Pallam Raju (Kakinada), Panabaka Lakshmi (Bapatla), K. Bapiraju (Narsapur), Chinta Mohan (Tirupati) and Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy (Kurnool) have agreed to seek re-election.
Party sources said Mr. Kasu Krishna Reddy was asking for the Narasaraopet LS and Assembly for himself and son. Similarly, Mr. Ahmedullah, who is yet to give consent, is said to be eyeing seat for his son and himself too. Mr. Lakshminaryana may take a serious look at the Guntur LS seat after the departure of Rayapati Sambasiva Rao. Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy may be asked to fight elections from Visakhapatnam.
“We could not find suitable candidates for Rajahmundry, Amalapuram, Eluru, Chittoor, Kadapa, Rajampet, Ongole and Nellore parliamentary constituencies. The names recommended are not very strong,” the APCC sources remarked.