Congress shifts focus on luring strong rivals, readjust tickets

Party may experiment by fielding a Velama against KCR in Kamareddy. Shabbir to be made MLC, if Congress wins

October 17, 2023 12:19 pm | Updated 04:14 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad. File

Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad. File | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

Sensing that a strong under current in favour of the party is visible, Congress party’s central leadership has started a calculated exercise to woo strong leaders from the rival parties and re-adjust the tickets among aspiring partymen to avoid any post-allotment fallout.

Towards this end, the party, according to highly placed sources, is in two minds on naming its candidate to take on Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao in Kamareddy assembly constituency. It was a foregone conclusion that former CLP leader Md. Ali Shabbir, senior Congress leader and former Minister, would take on KCR.

However, there are indications emanating from the party circles that Mr. Shabbir may not contest the elections and he would be rewarded with a seat as an MLC once the party comes to power. Facing stiff competition among the strong leaders in Kamareddy, Yellareddy and Banswada assembly constituencies in Kamareddy district under Zaheerabad Lok Sabha constituency, AICC leaders are exploring the possibility of accommodating the aspirants in these three seats.

It is understood that name of Madan Mohan Rao, son-in-law of BRS Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao is being considered for Yellareddy constituency and Kamareddy too. A Velama, the same caste of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, the party feels that if Mr. Madan Mohan is fielded from Kamareddy they will be able to solve the possible heartburn among the strong aspirants in Yellareddy.

Two others contenders – Subhash Reddy and Enugu Ravinder Reddy, former BRS MLA, who returned to the Congress fold from BJP, might be accommodated between Yellareddy and Banswada constituencies. “By sending the three leaders to different constituencies, the party will be able to overcome dissidence,” a senior TPCC functionary said.

In Nizamabad Urban constituency, where TPCC working President Bomma Mahesh Kumar Goud is a strong aspirant, the party is learnt to be veering towards search for a Muslim candidate. Nizamabad Urban constituency has a strong Muslim presence, which backed the BRS last time. By giving a ticket to a Muslim candidate, it intends to lure the sizable section, leaders point out.

The party is now focussing on wooing other party leaders in a big way. It has successfully lured former BRS leaders Revuri Prakash Reddy, Mandava Venkateswara Rao, former MLA Pratap Reddy, Boath ST MLA Rathod Babu Rao and husband-wife combine of GHMC corporators Jagadishwar Goud from Serilingampally.

In a related development, BRS Boath MLA Rathod Babu Rao met the TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy today at his residence. He promised to join the Congress shortly. The BRS leadership had dropped Mr. Babu Rao and allotted the ticket to Anil Jadhav from Boath ST constituency.

AICC in charge Manikrao Thakre, TPCC campaign committee chairman Madhu Yaskhi Goud and others met former MLA Narayan Rao Patel and invited him to join the Congress. Narayan Rao Patel is a strongman from Mudhole constituency.

The party if every thing goes right might consider fielding Revuri from Parkal or Palakurthy, Mandava from Nizamabad Rural, Jagadishwar Goud or his wife from Serilingampally, Rathod Babu Rao from Boath. Narayan Rao Patel too is likely to join the Congress and contest from Mudhole constituency in Nirmal district. This move naturally is fraught with risk as it in all likelihood will create heartburn among the loyalists. But, the party is determined to overcome possible dissidence as the polling day nears.

All these permutations and combination is likely to delay the announcement of the second list by few more days, TPCC sources said adding that the biggest task is to retain the loyalists and recognise deserving leaders from other parties by accommodating them with tickets.

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