Cong finalises 115 Assembly, 5 LS candidates for Andhra


In a move to revive the party’s prospects, the Congress leadership appointed Sharmila as the president of the party’s state unit in January this year…reports Asian Lite News

The Congress has finalised candidates for 115 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh. The names were finalised during the meeting of the Central Election Committee of the party held in Delhi on Monday.

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Y. S. Sharmila Reddy, who attended the meeting, said the list is likely to be released on Tuesday. She said the candidates for the remaining seats will be announced in a week.

Simultaneous elections to the 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are scheduled on May 13.

Sharmila, who is the sister of Chief Minister and YSR Congress President (YSRCP) president Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, is likely to be fielded from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, where Jagan Mohan Reddy has once again fielded his cousin and sitting MP Y. S. Avinash Reddy.

Congress Working Committee (CWC) special invitee Gidugu Rudraraju is likely to contest from Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency. Former central ministers Pallam Raju and J. D. Seelam are likely to get party tickets for Kakinada and Bapatla Lok Sabha seats respectively.

The Congress party drew a blank in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state in 2014 and 2019 due to public anger over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

In a move to revive the party’s prospects, the Congress leadership appointed Sharmila as the president of the party’s state unit in January this year.

Meanwhile, Sharmila demanded the YSRCP government to immediately start disbursal of social security pensions among beneficiaries. She alleged that there is a conspiracy to delay the payment of pensions.

She told media persons in Delhi that the Election Commission has ordered that the pensions be disbursed through government machinery and not through volunteers. The government is deliberately not disbursing pensions so that the delay damages the prospects of the opposition parties and helps the ruling party, she said.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has been targeting opposition parties for what he called stalling disbursal of pensions.

The APCC Chief said she met the Chief Secretary on the issue. He stated that disbursement will begin on April 3 and it will take a week to complete the process. “The beneficiaries will have to wait for 10 days. I want to ask the Chief Secretary if this delay was not to help the ruling party,” she said.

She said when the Election Commission allowed pension payment through DBT, why was this delay taking place? Digital payments can be made in one day, she said and demanded immediate payment of pensions through DBT. If this is not done the Congress will stage protests everywhere, she added.

Union minister, two MLAs vie for glory in Secunderabad

A triangular contest is on the cards for Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana where Union Minister for tourism, culture and development of the north eastern region, G. Kishan Reddy is seeking re-election.

Two sitting MLAs representing Assembly segments under the same Lok Sabha constituency are also set to enter the fray.

Interestingly both the MLAs were elected in recent elections on Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) tickets. Danam Nagender, who was re-elected from Khairatabad constituency, joined Congress party a few days ago and the party swiftly named him as the candidate for May 13 election.

BRS, which won six of the seven Assembly segments in the recent polls, is making a determined bid to register its maiden victory in this Lok Sabha constituency, which so far has elected either Congress or BJP.

The BRS has fielded T. Padmarao Goud, who was elected from the Secunderabad Assembly segment recently for a fourth term and considered a strong leader.

Padmarao Goud has been associated with TRS (now BRS) since Telangana movement days. He also served as the Deputy Speaker of Telangana Legislative Assembly between 2014 and 2018. He was first elected to the Assembly of united Andhra Pradesh on TRS ticket from Secunderabad in 2004.

In terms of Assembly segments won and number of votes secured, BRS appears strong on paper but defections of some key leaders to the ruling Congress has apparently hit the party’s morale.

The switching of loyalties by Nagender, a former minister, came as a shot in the arm for the grand old party. Upbeat after luring several key BRS leaders, including Greater Hyderabad Mayor Vijayalaxmi Gadwal to its camp, Congress will be looking to wrest the seat from BJP after losing two consecutive elections

After drawing a blank in Greater Hyderabad region in November 30, 2023 polls, the Congress was looking for strong candidates to bolster its prospects. Interestingly, in Secunderabad, Chevella and Malkajgiri, which cover Assembly segments in and around Hyderabad, the Congress has fielded all defectors from BRS.

Kishan Reddy, who is also the state president of the BJP, was elected MP from Secunderabad in 2019, a few months after losing the election from Amberpet Assembly segment under the same parliamentary constituency

In 2019, G. Kishan Reddy had defeated his nearest rival T. Sai Kiran Yadav by a majority of 62,114 votes. Kishan Reddy had polled 3,84,780 votes while Sai Kiran Yadav, son of former minister and BRS leader Srinivas Yadav, secured 3,22,666 votes.

Anjan Kumar Yadav, a two-time MP from Secunderabad, finished a distant third with 1,73,229 votes. In the November 30, 2023 Assembly elections, BRS bagged six out of seven Assembly segments under the Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. The AIMIM retained the Nampally segment.

Like in the 2019 elections, Kishan Reddy, a three-time MLA from Amberpet, will be banking on the Modi factor. Both BRS and Congress are vying to get support of Muslims and Christians, who are in sizable numbers in this constituency.

Secunderabad was a Congress stronghold till 1991 when BJP’s Bandaru Dattatreya wrested the seat for the first time. He was elected from this constituency again in 1998, 1999 and 2014.

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