After taking a beating in the Telangana assembly polls, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) is making an attempt to put up a better fight in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on April 11. The Congress will be banking on a list of candidates who are mostly poll-tested to take on a battle-ready TRS.
Leading the Congress from the front will be the party’s state chief N Uttam Kumar who will be contesting Lok Sabha polls from Nalgonda. For the Congress, how the Telangana voters cast their vote is a litmus test for the party’s relevance in the state.
Here is the full list of candidates:
From the TDP to TRS and now to the Congress, former MP Ramesh Rathod has been trying to get re-elected to the Lok Sabha since his last victory in 2009. He will be taking on three-time MLA and sitting MP from the TRS, Godam Nagesh.
The former minister Komatireddy Venkata Reddy will be contesting from Bhongir, away from his perceived stronghold at Nalgonda from where he had recently lost the state assembly elections in 2018. He will be taking on the sitting TRS MP Boora Narasaiah Goud, a three-time MLA.
After defecting from the TRS and resigning as an MP, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy will be contesting for the Lok Sabha seat again from Chevella but on a Congress ticket. He will be pitted against G Ranjith Reddy, an industrialist who will be contesting for the first time on a TRS ticket.
Taking on Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency will be Feroze Khan of the Congress who had lost the last two state elections. With the TRS not expected to give a tough fight to the MIM, the contest in Hyderabad will mostly be between Khan, Owaisi and BJP candidate Dr Bhaaantha Rao.
The working president of the TPCC, Ponnam Prabhakar Goud who was a former MP with the Congress in 2009, had lost the 2018 assembly election. Despite the loss, he is the party’s choice to take on the TRS sitting MP Boinpalli Vinod Kumar and Bandi Sanjay Kumar of the BJP.
The former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP, Renuka Chowdary is the Congress face for Khammam LS constituency. This will be the fourth time she will be contesting from this seat. Renuka will be taking on Nama Nageswara Rao, the former TDP leader presently with the TRS.
A Ravanth Reddy will be contesting in the Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket for the first time. The former TDP leader who had defected to Congress in 2017 faced defeat in the Kodangal assembly constituency in the recently held state polls. He will be facing first-time contender Marri Rajashekar Reddy, the son-in-law of Ch Malla Reddy, the Telangana minister for Women and Child Welfare.
Former MP and union minister Porika Balram Naik will be contesting for the third time from Mahbubabad parliament seat for the Congress. He will be up against Maloth Kavitha, former Congress MLA who is now contesting on a TRS ticket.
A grassroots level Congress worker, N Vamsichand Reddy rose through the ranks to become a first time MLA from Kalwakurthy constituency in 2014 and will be contesting on a Congress ticket from Mahbubnagar constituency for the first time. Though Vamsichand lost the 2018 state elections to a TRS candidate, the party has fielded him to take on TRS candidate Manne Srinivas Reddy, who is also a first-time candidate.
After being denied an MLA candidate ticket by the TRS, Gali Anil Kumar joined the Congress and is now a first time LS candidate for Medak. The district holds a special place in Congress history, as Medak was from where Indira Gandhi won to become the Prime Minister in 1980. Anil Kumar will be facing off against sitting TRS MP Kotha Prabhakar Reddy.
11) Nagarkurnool (SC)
Former MP Mallu Ravi’s entry as the Nagarkurnool candidate for the Congress comes after six-time Congress MP Nandi Yellaiah backed out from contesting. The last time Ravi won an election was in 1994. Since then, he has contested four times and lost them all.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, the TPCC chief has been asked to lead from the front by the Congress High Command in Delhi. After winning the Huzurnagar assembly constituency in the state polls, Uttam Kumar was reportedly hesitant to contest the Lok Sabha polls. He will now be contesting for the first time against another first-time contender, Vemireddy Narasimha Reddy of the TRS.
The Congress will be banking on Madhu Yaskhi Goud, a two time MP from Nizamabad who was unseated by K Kavitha of the TRS in 2014. The national secretary and spokesperson for the Congress will be contesting for the fourth time and will be banking on anti-incumbency against the TRS candidate for a win.
Dr Agama Chandrashekar is a former minister and five-time MLA from Vikarabad. He was defeated in 2009 and is making a comeback as the Congress LS candidate for Peddapalli. Chandrashekar will be contesting against Borlakunta Venkatesh Nethani who defected recently from the Congress to TRS.
The Congress face for Secundrabad LS constituency will be Anjan Kumar Yadav, the former MP who last won an election in 2009. He will be taking on first-time contender Talasani Saikiran Yadav, son of minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav from the TRS and Gangapuram Kishan Reddy, also a first-time contender from the BJP.
Dommati Sambhaiah had contested elections in 2004, 2009, and in 2014, but lost them all. A TDP leader formerly, he later defected to the TRS and then to the Congress. Sambhaiah will be contesting for the second time and will be up against TRS sitting MP Pasunuri Dayakar.
After joining the Congress from TDP, K Madan Mohan Rao became the TPCC IT Cell head. He will now be the Congress candidate for Zaheerabad LS seat. He last contested LS elections in 2014 on a TDP ticket but had lost to BB Patil of the TRS who is the sitting MP and will be re-contesting.