RS election officer declares Cong rebels nomination valid

Rebellion in the Congress over Andhra Pradesh bifurcation spilt over into the Rajya Sabha nomination with party top leaders trying to force rebel candidates in the fray to withdraw their nomination and arm-twisting the returning officer to reject their candidature.

However, in what is a major setback to the party, the returning officer and Assembly Secretary Raja Sadaram declared the nominations of Chaitanya Raju and Adala Prabhakar Reddy valid.

The Congress leaders tried everything from cornering the MLAs supporting the rebel candidates to holding them captive at Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy’s cabin demanding withdrawal of their support to the candidates.

In effect, they wanted to ensure that the MLAs were stalled from presenting themselves before the Assembly secretary and cause rejection of the nominations of rebel and independent candidates.

Sadaram had directed the candidates to produce the MLAs who had declared support to them within an hour to make a final decision on their nomination, following complaints from PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana that the MLAs had given the letter of support by mistake and are ready to withdraw it.

The ruling Congress had nominated three sitting candidates for the Rajya Sabha seats, while the Telugu Desam Party had issued tickets to rank outsiders and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti had fielded a former Congress leader K Keshav Rao.

Ticket to rebel

Speaking to reporters at the Assembly media point, MLC and rebel candidate Chaitanya Raju claimed that he had been pressured and the Congress leaders had harassed his supporters.

“I am contesting to prove a point,” he said.

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