Aspirants galore for Cong. in Gajwel

K. Chandrasekhara Rao.  

Gajwel, the constituency represented by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, is seeing intense lobbying from Congress leaders for party ticket, although they are aware that it is, literally, an uphill task, or rather an almost impossible situation to win.

Several Congress leaders from the constituency are eyeing the seat with some making serious efforts and, along with their supporters, meeting senior leaders with a plea to give them an opportunity to contest the key constituency. The aspirants include some youngsters too.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao won the seat in 2014 in a key battle with Vanteru Pratap Reddy, who contested on the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ticket, and recently shifted to the Congress. Congress nominee T. Narsa Reddy, who was the sitting MLA, finished third behind KCR and Mr. Pratap Reddy. Interestingly, he joined the TRS after it came to power and was appointed chairman of the Telangana State Road Development Corporation.

Against odds

Mr. Pratap Reddy, a strong critic of KCR since 2014, had been fighting against the TRS against odds. In the changed political situation, with the TTDP increasingly getting weakened, he also joined the Congress. Now, he hopes to be nominated by the Congress.

Another aspirant working in the constituency over the years is Bandaru Srikanth, who has been attached to the Congress since his NSUI days. He is trying to impress the leadership, saying that he would secure the support of two different social groups that he and his wife belong to. Former MLC M. Ranga Reddy’s son Jashwanth Reddy is also reportedly keen on testing the waters. The party, however, is yet to decide though Mr. Pratap Reddy seems to be the favourite.

It is also being said that a few students from the Osmania University may join the fray just to prove a point. The university students, who have been quite vocal against the TRS, the Chief Minister in particular, want to contest as the media focus would be on them and the issues they raise against the government will get prominent coverage.

‘Eyes unanimous win’

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports say that there is an effort from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to make the election unanimous to get the psychological advantage. Anyway, it would be a cakewalk for KCR, but that winning it unanimously in the present political situation will hit the opposition psychologically is the thinking in the TRS camp.

From the sentimental point of view, the party that won the Gajwel seat has also grabbed power in the State in the last eight elections. Former Minister J. Geetha Reddy represented the constituency thrice when it was reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs).

KCR won Gajwel with 19,391 votes against Mr. Pratap Reddy in 2014. While KCR polled 86,694 votes Mr. Reddy secured 67,303 votes. The Congress candidate polled 34,085.

Going by the arithmetic, the Grand Alliance should wrest it from the TRS this time but elections are not just arithmetic.