Staff Reporter

TDP, CPI(M) likely to back them

NELLORE: Groupism in the District Congress is to the fore again with the rebel candidate Bommireddy Raghavendra Reddy refusing to withdraw nomination for the legislative council seat under the local body quota.

Congress' official nominee is C. V. Sesha Reddy. Rumours are rife that both Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) might extend support to the rebel candidate to defeat Congress.

It may be recalled that Atmakur MLA Kommi Lakshmaiah Naidu has backed Mr. Raghavendra Reddy while Sarvepalli legislator Adala Prabhakara Reddy has indirectly extended support to Kondareddy Chandramohan Reddy.

Sensing trouble, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy directed both legislators to withdraw their candidates from the fray.

Mr. Raghavendra Reddy remains in the fray while Mr. Chandramohan Reddy withdrew his nomination.

Moves by TDP and CPI(M) to support the rebel has been giving jitters to the Congress as it could tilt the arithmetical balance. Congress has 429 memberswhile TDP has 289 members. CPM has 26 members . There are 36 independents. Given this backdrop, any division in Congress votes can pose a serious effect on winning prospects of the official nominee as the difference between the combined strength of both TDP as well as CPI(M) and Congress and CPI is only 113.