They fear near rout in the next Lok Sabha elections

APCC president Botcha Satyanarayana may seek Rajya Sabha ticket instead of contesting the general elections later this year.

Fear of rout in the next elections in wake of Congress party’s decision to bifurcate the State has propelled several senior leaders, including him, to either go for Rajya Sabha seat or call it a day.

Apparently Mr. Satyanarayana is also taking advantage of a condition laid by party’s central leadership some time back that PCC presidents should not contest direct elections and involve themselves in party work. His supporters feel that the high command may consider his name under this category.

Though Mr. Satyanarayana himself is tight-lipped, his supporters say he is indeed trying for RS nomination discreetly. But his detractors are not convinced. “If the PCC president himself says he is in the race for the RS ticket, it will certainly send wrong signal,” said one of them.

At the same time, they and other Seeamndhra Congress leaders concede that things are getting pretty tough for them in the region in the wake of the bifurcation decision.

“No Congress MLA or MP is confident about retaining his or her seat. That is why they want to contest RS elections,” a Congress leader said explaining the predicament of the sitting members.

Cross voting likely

Notwithstanding the preference of some senior leaders, the high command may find it difficult to convince the party MLAs to vote for the party candidates as they were now divided on regional lines. There is a talk that some MLAs may not hesitate to vote against the official candidate, if he or she happens to be from the other region. Fear of money power playing a crucial role is also causing anxious moments for the party leadership.

Congress circles are also keenly watching what role the Chief Minister is likely to play in these polls. As the high command may not consult him on selection of candidates, party leaders say some MLAs loyal to him may resort to cross voting.

Election Commission has issued notification for RS election on February 7, to fill up six seats.

Though the mainstream political parties are yet to finalise their candidates, the race for the ticket may gain momentum after January 23 when the Assembly session is expected to conclude its sitting after debating the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013, if President declines to give additional time as sought by the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Going by their strength in the Assembly, the ruling party is confident of winning three seats and the TDP two while there is going to be intense competition for the sixth seat.