Many MPs, jittery over their prospects, had avoided meeting AICC observers

With many Seemandhra Congress MPs showing disinclination to contesting the general elections as they fear a severe drubbing, the party high command may be forced to field second rung leaders in the parliamentary constituencies.

The sitting MPs are frankly wary of their prospects and, in the best case scenario, seniors like Kavuri Sambasiva Rao may chose to field some one from their family or close relatives, if only to keep the high command in good humour. Going by the current mood, the party may opt for new faces in more than a dozen out of 25 Lok Sabha seats in the Seemandhra region.

Jittery

It is no different with the Congress MLAs who are equally jittery over the strong public opposition to the Congress after its decision to bifurcate the State. Several of them are planning to defect to other parties.

All this was evident during the recent tour of AICC observers to the State with the mandate of shortlisting the probables for the Lok Sabha polls. Their efforts met with little success since many MPs and MLAs steered clear of them. The loyalists MPs and Union Ministers, who are toeing the party line, are also said to be in two minds.

Sources said Mr. Sambasiva Rao may opt out of the race and seek the ticket for a family member. Similarly, Ms. Purandeswari is reportedly in touch with top leader of a national party. Her future plans are not clear but Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy, who is completing his term, is keen on contesting from Visakhapatnam, the Lok Sabha constituency she represents now.

Rebels

With six rebel MPs – Vundavalli Arun Kumar (Rajahmundry), Lagadapati Rajagopal (Vijayawada), G. V. Harsha Kumar (Amalapuram), Sabbam Hari (Anakapalli), Rayapati Sambasiva Rao (Guntur), A. Saipratap (Rajampet) and Ananta Venkatarami Reddy (Anantapur) on war path with the high command, Congress leadership may be forced to look for other candidates in their constituencies. Some of them hinted at leaving the Congress.

However, sources said even though senior leaders may shy away from the polls, there were many second rung and district level leaders, who are willing to contest the elections with the hope that luck may favour them in future polls.


  • Party may opt for new faces in more than a dozen out of 25 LS seats in Seemandhra region

  • Loyalists MPs, Union Ministers, who are toeing the party line, are also said to be in two minds