Of the 80 applications received so far, 50 are those of Congress leaders from Telangana

There is a huge rush for Congress tickets for the Legislative Council elections slated later this month, with a large number of leaders from Telangana pitching hard for nomination.

With 14 vacancies, including 10 members to be elected by the Assembly and the remaining to be nominated by the Governor, this election has triggered keen interest among the leaders for tickets. According to party sources, as many as 80 applications have been received so far of which 50 are from Congress leaders from Telangana.

T-leaders’ argument

Congress leaders argue that seven of the 14 MLCs retiring this month hail from Telangana and hence the vacancies should be filled from the same region.

Leaders point out that the high command may not disappoint the party men from Telangana by ignoring their demand as the statehood sentiment is strong and the high command is yet to spell out its decision on the issue despite an all-party meeting held in December last.

Some of the outgoing members are camping in New Delhi lobbying for another term, while a long list of former Ministers and legislators, seniors, APCC office-bearers and several defeated candidates in the last Assembly elections are trying their luck for the tickets.

In the race

Former Speaker K. R. Suresh Reddy, former Ministers Md. Ali Shabbir, S.Redya Naik and Md. Fareeduddin, former legislator P.V. Rajeshwar Rao, Ranga Reddy DCC chief K.M.Pratap and former MP Mallu Ravi are the strong contenders for the tickets from Telangana.

Botcha meets Azad

Sources said the PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana, who was in New Delhi on Saturday and Sunday met the AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad and handed over the applications received at Gandhi Bhavan. It is understood that Mr Azad said the tickets would be finalised only after holding further consultations with the Chief Minister and the PCC chief in the next few days.

Apart from the Telangana angle to the Council polls, there is a heavy rush for the tickets from those who are aspiring for the nominated posts. A surprise factor is disinclination of some former legislators and Ministers to contest the Assembly elections next year.

They maintain that if the Council seat is cleared, they would enjoy office for six years without spending a lot of money.