Issue may spell trouble for Cong in RS elections

Issue may spell trouble for Cong in RS elections

The events that unfolded in New Delhi over the last few days in connection with the Telangana statehood row has widened the divide among Congress MLAs from Andhra Pradesh (AP). 

The party high command is finding it difficult to set its house in order before the Rajya Sabha (RS) polls on Friday.

Legislators from the Telangana region, who were peeved by the way their ministers were dragged out to make way for Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s convoy, reportedly told state in-charge Digvijay Singh that they will not vote for Seemandhra candidates K V P Ramachandra Rao and T Subbarami Reddy.

“We will cast our votes in favour of Telangana candidate M A Khan, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) candidate and former Congress Working Committee member K Kesava Rao instead of voting for Seemandhra leaders,” a minister from Telangana said. 

Singh has reminded them that the onus of securing victory for the Congress lies with the MLAs.

In all, the Congress has 146 MLAs, but six of them joined the YSR Congress (YSRC). If the YSRC abstains from voting, as per its earlier claim, then each Congress candidate in the fray will need 37 votes. 

The Congress’ Telangana wing has 51 votes. After allocating sufficient votes for the third candidate, there will be 14 excess votes left with the Congress which might choose to vote for the lone TRS candidate. 

The Congress’ state unit hopes that the two Seemandhra candidates will win, but is equally worried about the mood among Telangana leaders who might not follow the party diktat.  

Meanwhile, Congress’ rebel candidate Adala Prabhakara Reddy, who is contesting on the Samaikhyandhra plank, has announced that he had withdrawn from the contest past the deadline on Thursday after the chief minister persuaded him. He has failed to secure the support of 23 YSRC members as the party has already issued a whip.
“With the YSRC staying out we will not have to worry as there will not be much of a deviation. But we are concerned about the unfortunate events that took place in AP Bhavan in Delhi, after which I doubt that any Telangana minister or MLA will listen and stick to the chief minister’s game plan in allocating votes,” an MLA from coastal AP said.

The election for six Rajya Sabha seats will be held in the Assembly from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday and counting of votes will begin after 5 pm.

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