P. Ram Mohan

Congress nominee R. Venkatrami Reddy and TDP backed candidate Shaik Sameem lock horns

NIZAMABAD: Campaign for the elections to Legislative Council in Nizamabad local body constituency has reached climax with nominees from both major political parties the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party-- along with their supporters leaving no stone unturned to secure the seat.

With hardly a few hours to go for polling, both the parties have actively been involved in running camp politics by shifting their loyalists to Shirdi, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad or elsewhere. Therefore, the campaign is going on very silently without much pomp or fanfare. Since no senior leader, MLAs or MPs from the Congress and the TDP are involved in the campaign it is nearing completion unnoticed. Congress nominee and senior leader R. Venkatrami Reddy and TDP supported candidate Shaik Sameem alias Shakeel lock horns in the elections. Among 687 voters comprising 528 MPTC members, 36 ZPTCs, 50 corporators and 68 councillors, three MLAs and two MPs (one Congress and one TRS) who have to use their votes, either of the parties have no clear majority. The contestants have to cross the "magical figure" -- 344 to win the election. However, the Congress has effective 333 members -- 248 MPTCs, 20 ZPTCs, 32 corporators, one MP and three MLAs, while the TDP has 246 members -- 207 MPTCs, 12 ZPTCs, 8 corporators and 19 councillors. Given the conditions, the TRS voters will play a pivotal role to tilt the balance. The TRS has 54 members and an equal number of other voters are also there.

The Congress is short of 15 members to win the election on its own. The parties are reportedly employing all means to attract the voters. As the TRS leadership did not announce its stand clearly, confusion had prevailed among its members as to which party they should vote for. Absence of whip from the respective parties caused chaotic situation.

The Congress and the TDP have been angling for the TRS votes, but they seem to be a divided lot. According to informed sources in the party, the TRS cadres in Dichpally constituency are sailing with the Congress and elsewhere in the district they are totally free to vote as per their conscience.