In a significant political development, a day head of the crucial Legislative Council elections to fill up six vacancies, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) has decided to back the candidates put up by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
The YSR Congress Telangana unit president P. Srinivas Reddy in a statement issued here on Sunday announced party’s decision to support the TRS. The party is not in a position to field its candidates. "As a responsible party, we feel it is our responsibility to participate in the polling process", he said.
“In the recent Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council election for the post of deputy chairman, the Congress members shamelessly backed the TDP candidate Satish Kumar Reddy. It is also not out of place to remind the role of TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu in protecting the then Kiran Kumar Reddy Government in the past by issuing a whip to abstain from voting. In such circumstances, the YSR Congress feels that it is better to support the TRS than back the candidature of the Congress or the TDP contestants in the Council elections,” Mr. Srinivas Reddy said.
The YSR Congress has three members in the Telangana Assembly, but two of its members had defected to the TRS earlier this year. Presently, only one MLA is with the YSR Congress. Nevertheless, the decision to back TRS is expected to boost the chances of the five ruling party candidates.
The announcement by the YSR Congress comes in the backdrop of a TDP MLA Madhavaram Krishna Rao from Kukatpally Assembly constituency shifting his loyalties to the TRS.
Going by the changing political equations, the prospects of the six TRS nominees and the lone Congress candidate has improved. The TDP-BJP combine nominee Vem Narender Reddy may face a tough task to even scrape through.
In a related development, the Congress leaders without taking risk decided to shift its 17 MLAs to a luxury resort in neighbouring Ranga Reddy district. Leader of the Opposition in the Council Md. Ali Shabbir told The Hindu on Sunday afternoon that all the legislators would be reaching the resort by evening.
“We already have six party MLAs at the resort now. Khammam MLA Puvvada Ajay Kumar, who was on a tour of the US, has also returned. We are confident that our candidate Akula Lalitha will easily win the election,” he said.
Meanwhile, the TRS despite its chances improving by the defection and support of the YSR Congress is not taking any chances. The party has planned mock polling for its legislators later today (Sunday).
The TDP leadership, which is on the defensive, after the shock defection of Mr. Krishna Rao has appealed to the TRS MLAs to cast their votes according to their conscience.
According to the schedule, polling will commence at 9 a.m. in Committee Hall of the Assembly premises on Monday.