Last date for filing nomination March 11; polling on March 21
The race for Legislative Council tickets from the Congress party may take some shape on Friday when the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana visit New Delhi with the list of aspirants for clearance.
As all the contenders for the tickets made a beeline for New Delhi to lobby with their contacts, party leaders are hopeful that there would be some clarity on the issue on Friday.
The Chief Minister and PCC chief are scheduled to call on AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday to discuss the list. Once they get the necessary clearance, the list is likely to be presented to party president Sonia Gandhi for final approval.
March 11 is the last date for filing nomination for the vacancies from Assembly quota and polling would be held on March 21. Ten vacancies from the Assembly and four to be nominated by Governor would be filled as the term of the incumbents concludes on March 29.
Sources said that against 80 applications received, 16 are said to be in race for the tickets. Congress with its strength of 155 can win five seats on its own and would be left with surplus votes. But with some MLAs backing the YSR Congress, it is to be seen whether or not the party would field the sixth candidate. There is also talk that the party should field only five candidates so that the elections are unanimous as the TDP was sure of winning three seats and the YSRC and TRS could end up with one seat each.
As five Congress MLCs elected by the Assembly are retiring, chances of retention of Chief Whip Bharati Ragya Naik and P. Sudhakar Reddy are high, according to party leaders.
Others trying hard for tickets include former Ministers -- Md. Ali Shabbir and Md. Fareeduddin -- in the minority quota. Among the women, names of APCC office-bearers – Tripurana Venkataratnam, Harirama Devi and Majji Sharada -- are under consideration.
Party seniors like Madasu Gangadharam, Kantheti Satyanarayana Raju, Nedurumilli Rajya Lakshmi, K.R. Suresh Reddy and some close aides of Chief Minister – Bhamidipati Ramamurthy, Raghuram Reddy and Srinivas Reddy are also eyeing the party ticket.