The Congress released its third list of thirteen candidates on Saturday for the Telangana polls scheduled to be held on December 7. In a major development, the highly contentious seat of Jangaon went to former Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
Others who got tickets include Soyam Bapu Rao from Boath, Taher Bin Hamdan from Nizamabad (Urban), and Dr Rekula Bhupathi Reddy from Nizamabad (Rural). D Sudhir Reddy will contest on a Congress ticket from LB Nagar in the heart of Hyderabad city, while E Anil Kumar will contest Balkonda. Three candidates in the Old City area where the Congress has promised to oust the AIMIM were also announced â€“ K Rajendra Raju for Yakutpura, Kalem Baba from Bahadurpura and Osman Bin Mohammed Al-Hazri from Karwan.
Balu Naik for Deverakonda, Addanki Dayakar from Tungathurthy and Banoth Haripriya Naik from Yellandu are also in the fray.
The Telangana Congress is presently leading a grand alliance (mahakutami) in the state against the incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) along with Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Jana Samiti (TJS), and the Communist Party of India (CPI). Congress is contesting 93 seats, leaving 14 to the TDP, 8 to the TJS and 3 to the CPI, and 1 to the Telangana Inti Party.
The Jangaon seat went to Lakshmaiah after much speculation that it was going to Prof Kodandaram from the TJS. Lakshmaiah rushed to the Congresâ€™s war room in New Delhi and expressed his frustration at being denied the Jangaon ticket, claiming that it would be unjust to the BC community. It is also important to note that Lakshmaiah lost the Jangaon ticket in 2014 to Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy when he was the sitting TPCC president.
With D Sudhir Reddy contesting on a Congress ticket, it would mean that strongman and incumbent LB Nagar MLA R Krishnaiah may have to give up his seat. Sudhir was the MLA from 2009-14 from LB Nagar before he lost to Krishnaiah. Heâ€™s also the former chairman Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) which has now become the HMDA (Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority).
Earlier this month, the Congress released its second list amidst internal rifts in the party.
Candidates have already started filing nominations from Monday. The last date for filing nominations is November 19. Telangana goes to the polls on December 7 and results will be declared on December 11.