Caretaker Chief Minister KCR released a list of 105 candidates, and leaders who feel sidelined by the list have registered their protest.

Ahead of polls dissent in TRS 6 leaders unhappy with the list of candidatesFile photo: Telangana CMO
news Politics Tuesday, October 02, 2018 - 15:50

It has been close to a month since Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's decided to dissolve the state's Legislative Assembly and renominate almost all sitting legislators. However, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief's decision to release a list of 105 TRS candidates has not been without controversy.

According to media reports, dissent has been brewing within the party among senior leaders, and KCR has ordered his son and caretaker IT Minister KT Rama Rao to sort out the internal differences.

Station Ghanpur

The latest revolt comes from the Station Ghanpur constituency in Warangal Urban district, with a delegation of senior leaders led by caretaker Education Minister and Deputy CM Kadiyam Srihari meeting KTR earlier this week.

The TRS had renominated T Rajaiah, whose candidature was reportedly met with opposition from voters and party cadre alike.

Rajaiah, who joined the TRS in 2011, was sworn in as the Health Minister and Deputy CM in 2014 when the TRS came into power. However, in 2015, he was sacked by KCR for failing to take preventive steps to control the spread of swine flu in the state, which led to the deaths of many.

Srihari, on the other hand, is an ex-MP from Warangal and had began his political career with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) serving in the cabinets of NT Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu.

KTR informed both groups that there would be no change in the nomination and managed to pacify them.

Speaking to local reporters after the meet, Srihari said that he was touched by those who were demanding his candidature.

"We will stand by the decision of KCR and the party high command. Sometimes, a decision that may not be completely favourable to the cadre may be taken, but we must all work together for the party and ensure that we win in the upcoming elections," Srihari said.

He also denied reports that he would join the Congress. "I'm quite content here. KCR has given me opportunity and made me Deputy CM. I will only work for the TRS," he said.

Palakurthi   

In the Palakurthi Assembly constituency, also under Warangal district, senior leader Errabelli Dayakar Rao is facing a tough competition from party general secretary T Ravinder Rao.

A former MP, Errabelli Dayakar Rao was elected on a TDP ticket and then defected to the TRS. Ravinder Rao had called for a meeting of his own supporters and had openly revolted against the former, dubbing him an 'outsider'.

“I have been a part of TRS since its inception. I’ve worked hard to strengthen the party in the erstwhile Warangal district. But the high command has never recognised my effort,” Ravinder Rao was quoted as saying.

He also claimed that he would contest as an Independent if the party doesn't nominate him. However, the party seems to be confident of killing the revolt by promising Ravinder a post in the future.

Maheshwaram

The TRS' decision to field Teegala Krishna Reddy, a former Hyderabad mayor and a TDP turncoat, has also upset party cadre in the constituency.

Leading the opposition is TRS leader Kotha Manohar Reddy, who had lost to Krishna in the 2014 elections.

"People have given me their blessings and are saying that I will definitely win. Voters are on my side," Manohar told reporters last month.

However, he was quick to add, "I will not go against the party. I will contest as a rebel candidate within the TRS. One side I will put KCR's photo and on another side, there will be my photo. I will go into the people and ask them to vote for me and with their wishes I will join the TRS party again. There is no doubt that I will contest against Krishna Reddy and win."

Chennur

Another controversial decision by the TRS was to nominate Peddapalli MP Balka Suman from the Chennur Assembly seat.

Renigunta Gattaiah, a TRS worker, had set himself ablaze last month during a Balka Suman meeting, to protest the fact that Nallala Odelu, whom he supported and who just completed his term, was not given a ticket.  

Odelu had locked himself up in his own house for several hours along with his family, staging a protest and demanding his renomination from the constituency.

In a tragic turn of events, while Odelu met KCR and patched up with him, Gattaiah succumbed to his injuries after he suffered 70% burns.

Read: Gattaiah may have died for TRS leader, but he was a mere pawn in Telangana’s politics

Bhupalpally

The turf of Telangana Speaker Madhusudhana Chary is also witnessing dissent, from Gandra Satyanarayana Rao. Rao had lost to Chary in 2014 and had moved to the TRS shortly after that.  

Speculation was rife that Chary may be replaced as his popularity was dipping and this had raised Rao's hopes. However, after the party announced its decision, he accused TRS leaders of luring him with the promise of a seat and going back on their word.

He has also said that he plans to contest independently.

Kodad

In Nalgonda district as well, trouble has been brewing over the TRS' decision to abstain from naming the candidate from Kodad.

On Monday, two TRS workers reportedly attempted to kill themselves, demanding that K Shashidhar Reddy, a party loyalist, be given the ticket. The seat is presently held by N Padmavathi, the wife of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.

Another contender for the post from TRS itself is former TDP MLA Venepalli Chander Rao, who had jumped ship in 2014.

The party is also yet to make its candidate for Huzur Nagar, Uttam's constituency, public.  

Within Hyderabad as well, there have been reported cases of dissenters within the TRS in constituencies like Kukatpally, Serilingampally and Quthbullapur.

The party high command has been following these developments closely and is working to negotiate and curb any dissent before it goes public, as it could split votes and affect its chances in the upcoming elections.

 

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