The Congress appeared to be caught in a dilemma on Wednesday — the last day for filing of nomination for the Warangal parliamentary constituency bye-election — after the tragic incident at the residence of candidate Sircilla Rajaiah, in which his daughter-in-law Sarika and three grandsons were charred to death.
Sources said the party was contemplating changing the candidature of Mr. Rajaiah, who reportedly expressed his disinclination to remain in the fray after the incident.
State Congress leaders were in touch with the Central leadership to change the candidate as Mr. Rajaiah's continuation in the fray could spell trouble for the Congress. Mr. Rajaiah had already filed one set of nomination paper on Saturday.
The party is understood to have decided to steer clear of the incident. The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy called up AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh immediately after the incident and apprised him of the developments in Warangal.
A senior Congress leader told The Hindu that the party was now considering the name of former Union Minister Sarvey Satyanarayana, former Wardhannpet MLA Kondeti Sridhar, former Minister G.Vijayarama Rao and Congress leader R. Pratap. It is not yet clear whether Mr. Sarvey Satyanarayana, who had strongly staked his claim for the party ticket, would oblige the high command.
In case Mr. Sarvey is named as the candidate, he has to rush to Warangal from Hyderabad before 3 p.m. to file his nomination papers.
At least two senior Congress leaders, who met Mr. Rajaiah soon after the incident said he was shell-shocked by the incident and had told them about his inability to contest the elections.