Ex TDP MLA and BC Sangham president R Krishnaiah with CM Jagan after YSRCP announced its Rajya Sabha nominees
Ex TDP MLA and BC Sangham president R Krishnaiah with CM Jagan after YSRCP announced its Rajya Sabha nominees

YSRCP names four Rajya Sabha candidates, including two from Telangana

BC leader and former TDP MLA R Krishnaiah is among the four nominees.

The ruling YSR Congress Party in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, May 17, announced four candidates, including two from neighbouring Telangana, for as many Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh, the biennial election for which is slated for June 10. YSRCP president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy overlooked the party's local leaders while making the selection, rewarding, instead, two political turncoats from the Telugu Desam Party.

Backward classes leader R Krishnaiah served as TDP MLA from 2014 to 2019 in Telangana. He is the national president of BC Sangham, and is currently not a member of the YSRCP. Another ex-MLA of TDP, Beeda Masthan Rao switched over to the YSRCP after the 2019 elections. Both BC leaders have now been chosen for the Upper House of Parliament.

"It is unprecedented that we are empowering these classes by giving 50% of seats, treating them as 'backbone classes'," state Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana and YSRCP general secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy said, announcing the names of the Rajya Sabha nominees. Asked why no woman was chosen, they said it could happen next time, though the name of former Union Minister Killi Kriparani was considered.

Jagan Mohan Reddy's personal lawyer S Niranjan Reddy from Nirmal in Telangana state is another nominee. Incumbent MP V Vijayasai Reddy, who is due to retire upon completion of his first term next month, has been re-nominated. He is currently the YSRCP Parliamentary party leader. 

YSRCP leaders see the nomination of Krishnaiah and Masthan Rao as a "strategic move" to wean the BCs away from the TDP, its pillar of strength. The nomination process for the four Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh will begin on May 24, with the issue of notification, and the last date for filing papers is May 31. Election, if required, will be held on June 10 as otherwise it is expected to be a unanimous affair.

Given its strength of 151 MLAs, the YSRC is in a comfortable position to bag all four seats. Its strength in the Council of States will swell to 9 (out of 11) after the biennial election. Of the nine, four will be from the Reddy community and four from backward classes. Parimal Nathwani, hailing from Gujarat, is the other YSRCP member of Rajya Sabha. The TDP and the BJP will be left with one MP each.

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