The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) announced the candidates it was fielding for the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections on Sunday.
The Election Commission announced that it would hold elections for vacant Rajya Sabha seats, which will fall vacant in April-May 2018. In Telangana, elections will be held for three seats.
For the elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, the party in power, which won 63 Assembly seats in 2014, decided to field three candidates. With one day left to file nominations, Joginapalli Santhosh Kumar, Banda Prakash and B Lingaiah Yadav were selected by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
This decision was taken during the TRS Legislature Party meeting headed by KCR.
Opposition party Congress, which has 13 MLAs excluding turncoats, will field only one candidate - Balram Naik - due to the lack of strength.
Banda Prakash and Lingaiah Yadav are said to hail from numerically stronger BC's. Joginapalli Santhosh, the current General Secretary of the Party and a close relative of the KCR, was also picked in line with the expectation in political circles.
Speaking to TNM, Congress MLA Sampath Kumar said, "We lack the numbers, but ours is definitely a fight of ideology. We want to field a candidate to expose the encouraged defections of TRS."
The plan of the Congress seems to be pitch the whip against its members, including defectors. Voting in the Rajya Sabha elections will be held in open ballot system of election, in which every member has to show his ballot paper to the agent of the party which he elected from.
â€śWith this, we will expose the government violation of the anti-defection law. We will also move the Supreme Court about it,â€ť Sampath added.
Accusing the TRS of nepotism, Congress spokesperson Krishank Manne said that "this is the kind of 'qualitative politics' the TRS and its chief want to play. Itâ€™s the death of democracy.â€ť
KCR had earlier said that â€śthere is a serious need for qualitative change in the national politicsâ€ť.
The BJP also slammed the TRS over the members it had picked.
"What can we expect from him (KCR). Heâ€™s not running a democratic party. Heâ€™s running a Private Limited," said BJP leader Krishna Saagar Rao.
On Saturday, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted that his party would support the TRS candidates in the Rajya Sabha elections. The TRS enjoys the support of as many as 89 members, including the 'defectors'.
Taking a dig at the AIMIM supporting the TRS, Krishna Saagar Rao said, "Both parties are family-run parties. Show me a single leader other than the Owaisiâ€™s in MIM and KCR's family members in TRS."
Opposition leaders said people of Telangana are observing all the affairs and are waiting to give a befitting reply to the TRS party.
Women have conspicuously been absent from positions of power in the TRS, except for TRS MP and KCRâ€™s daughter K Kavitha and Deputy Speaker Padma Devender Reddy. There are no women in his cabinet.
Criticising the TRS, Congress MLA DK Aruna said that this showed the commitment of the TRS towards women.
â€śIt's a humiliation to all the women of Telangana, and he is the one talking about qualitative politics," she said.