The Congress party in Telangana may announce its candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections by February-end. The announces came after its debacle in the Assembly elections in the state that were held in December last year.
Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, who is the leader of the opposition party in Telangana Assembly, told reporters that the state Congress committee had received a large number of applications from those keen to contest the coming elections.
Intense lobbying is also underway at the premises of Gandhi Bhavan, the Telangana Congress’ headquarters in Hyderabad, with many leaders pulling strings and attempting to get a ticket. This also includes senior leaders who lost in the Assembly election but still want to contest for the Lok Sabha seat as well.
Many Congress leaders in their application letters highlighted their loyalty to the party and the Gandhi family, hoping that it would help further their cause.
“I am staunch loyalist to the Nehrujji family since my student days. In spite of my sincere services in the part in the years 1987, 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009, I could not get part ticket then (sic),” states one letter by Congress Secretary Valle Narayana Reddy, who is vying for the Nalgonda MP ticket.
Meanwhile, Vikramaka said the party's state unit will analyse the applications and make appropriate recommendations to the central leadership, which plans to finalise the candidates by the end of the month.
He also said that there might be more clarity on poll alliances by February-end. He said the central leadership would take a final decision in this regard. In the Assembly elections held in December last year, the Congress had an alliance with the Telugu Desam party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS).
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) retained the power winning 88 seats in 119-member Assembly. The Congress-led ‘Praja Kutami’ or People's Alliance could get only 21 seats.
It is still not clear if Congress will continue the alliance with the TDP and others for the Lok Sabha elections.
Telangana has 17 Lok Sabha seats. In 2014, TRS had bagged 11 seats while the Congress onlty two. The remaining seats were shared by the TDP, BJP, AIMIM and the YSR Congress.