Congress’s R Krishnaiah and Telangana Jana Samithi’s Gavva Vidyadhar Reddy have filed the B Forms ahead of Telangana polls.

Friendly contest Allies TJS Cong file nomination from same Telangana constituencyTelangana Congress's R Krishnaiah
news Telangana 2018 Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 12:57

Even after the last day for filing nomination for Telangana elections concluded, the stakeholders of Mahakutami (grand alliance) were left in limbo, as the allies, Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) and the Congress, filed their nominations from Miryalaguda constituency of Nalgonda district. When this reporter reached out to the Congress and TJS candidates to ask if any of them were going to withdraw from the contest, both were determined to continue an electoral fight. While the Congress dubs it a "friendly contest", the TJS disputes it.

In an interesting turn of events, Indian National Congress announced its candidate, Backward Classes (BC) leader R Krishnaiah, late on Sunday night. According to Krishnaiah, the Congress party had offered a ticket to him. He claimed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi called him over the phone at around 9 pm and asked him to contest from Miryalaguda on behalf of the party. While Krishnaiah is the official Congress candidate, other party leaders, especially those who were upset at being denied a ticket, also filed the nominations.

However, Telangana Jana Samithi’s candidate Gavva Vidyadhar Reddy filed his nomination once again, enclosing his party's B Form on Monday. When TNM asked Vidhyadhar Reddy about going up against a coalition partner, he said, “I was given the B Form on Sunday evening, much before the Congress finalised its candidate. Our party President (M Kodandaram Reddy), who is also the president of the coalition, gave me the form.”

Asked if he is going to withdraw his party’s B From or his candidature, Vidyadhar Reddy said he would do neither. He seemed confident and rejected the "friendly contest" tag and said it would play out like any other electoral battle.

Incidentally, Kodandaram Reddy, a retired professor from Osmania University, couldn’t file the nomination since the Congress wanted the Jangoan seat.

Senior Congress leader K Jana Reddy, meanwhile, has defended the alliance, saying it will be a “friendly contest” between Telangana Jana Samithi and Congress. He was addressing the party cadre at a convention hall in a meeting, introducing the party’s parachute candidate Krishnaiah. Several party cadre, who were the followers of Congress ticket aspirants, vehemently rejected Krishnaiah’s candidature. However, Jana Reddy managed to pacify them.

R Krishnaiah told TNM, “Since I will fight for SC, ST, BCs, the Telangana Jana Samithi candidate should withdraw from the contest. If he continues his candidature in the election, still, it will not be a problem. I will win the election with a huge majority as the SC, ST and BC communities are with me. For that matter, even poor of upper castes also supporting my candidature.”

When asked how he could seal a victory with just 15 days left for the election, he said, “I have been part of the struggle to fight for their rights in the state for over 40 years. People know me even if I have not contested the election from here.”  

Competition for TJS, Congress

Meanwhile, it’s not just Telangana Jana Samithi that is giving shivers to the Congress in the constituency. Two others have filed nominations as independent candidates, including Skylab Nayak, TPCC secretary and a tribal leader. Miryalaguda constituency is surrounded by tribal hamlets with nearly 38,000 tribal vote share. Alugubelli Amarender Reddy, who joined the Congress aspiring a ticket, has filed nomination and announced that he will be in the fight even if he won’t get the party’s B Form.

Interestingly, this constituency is also a stronghold of the CPI(M). Its present candidate, Julakanti Ranga Reddy, won elections three times in the past.

Because of the spate of defections, even the cadre themselves are confused who their local leaders are supporting in the election. TRS candidate Nallamothu Baskar Rao had won the previous election on Congress ticket and flipped his loyalty to ruling party, attributing the defection to “development”.

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