In a strategic move to woo the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) leaders to counter the TRS, the Congress on Saturday night named four such persons in the list of 110 Assembly and 16 Lok Sabha candidates for Telangana.
At a single go, the party announced all the names, leaving the Khammam LS seat to CPI, which was also given nine Assembly constituencies. But, within minutes, the AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who was reading out the list abruptly concluded the press conference after receiving a telephone call. He told newspersons that the list of Assembly candidates would be emailed to the media late in the night. But, till midnight, no mail was received from the Congress headquarters.
Sources said the list was held back at the instance of Ahmed Patel, political secretary to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi. The leaders were closeted in an emergency meeting.
Significantly, the Congress list saw two leaders from the TJAC and two from OU JAC getting tickets. They include Gajjala Kantham and Addanki Dayakar besides Krishank and Daruvu Yellanna. All of them joined the Congress only last month.
Releasing the list at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday night, Mr. Surejwala said all the sitting MPs had been re-nominated with Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy shifting to Mahabubnagar from Chevella. The Chevella seat went to P.Karthik Reddy, son of former Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy.
A surprise selection was Shravan Kumar Reddy for the Medak LS seat. The sitting member from the Medak Vijayashanti had joined the Congress a few months ago in the presence of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. Mr. Reddy was till last month the in-charge of YSR Congress party for Medak.
Former Hyderabad Grandhalaya Samstha chairman Sama Krishna Reddy got the Hyderabad LS ticket. Former Osmania University professor Naresh Jadhav, a Lambada is the candidate from Adilabad ST constituency. Rebel Congress MP G. Vivekanand, who returned to the party fold last week, has been retained for the Peddapalli seat while former Rajya Sabha member Nandi Yellaiah has been given the Nagarkurnool ticket.
Among the prominent leaders to be re-nominated for the Assembly are TPCC president Ponnala Lakshmaiah (Jangaon), working president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy (Huzurnagar), former deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Raj Narasimha (Andole) and deputy speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka (Madhira).
Of the 110 candidates for Assembly, there are 29 BCs, 20 SC candidates include two fielded from general seats, five minorities (four Muslims and a Christian) and nine ST candidates. There are eight women candidates also.