A three-member committee deputed by the central leadership of the Congress party on Sunday held talks with the party's Telangana leaders who were unhappy over being denied the ticket for next month's elections to the state Assembly.
The panel headed by Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy met the dissident leaders at a hotel in Hyderabad to dissuade them from contesting as rebel candidates. Karnataka's Irrigation Minister D.K. Shivakumar and Puducherry's Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao are the other members of the committee.
The leaders assured the dissidents that they will be rewarded suitably after the party comes to power.
They advised the dissidents not to enter the fray as rebels as this would mar the prospects of the 'Mahakutami' or grand alliance headed by the Congress. The dissidents were also asked to work for the victory of the 'Mahakutami'.
Former minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, senior leader V. Hanumantha Rao, party spokesman Ramya Rao and others met the committee members and made certain suggestions. After meeting the committee members, Palvai Sravanthi, one of the dissidents, announced that she will not contest as a rebel.
The state leadership has identified at least 90 ticket aspirants who were miffed over not being fielded as party candidates. Some of them plan to contest as rebels.
Party sources said 40-50 dissidents would meet the committee over the next two days.
Earlier, the Congress party's central leadership on Saturday summoned senior leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy to New Delhi hours after he expressed resentment over being denied a ticket. With his name missing from the third list, Shashidhar Reddy blamed party's state president Uttam Kumar Reddy. He alleged that Uttam Kumar misled the screening committee by stating that he will not win the election.
Addressing a news conference, Shashidhar expressed surprise over reports that Congress has left Sanathnagar seat to its ally Telugu Desam Party (TDP) under the seat-sharing agreement. He said TDP never demanded this seat. Son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Marri Chenna Reddy, Shashidhar was elected to the assembly four times from Sanathnagar. He had lost 2014 election.
Elections to the 119-member Assembly are scheduled for December 7. The Congress declared 6 more candidates on Sunday. The party has decided to leave 25 seats to its three allies including Telugu Desam Party (TDP).