The ruling TRS in Telangana on Thursday nominated senior leaders D Srinivas and V Lakshmikanta Rao as its candidates for the election to fill up the two vacancies from the state in the Rajya Sabha.
Srinivas, a former state Congress president who was a senior minister in the government of undivided Andhra Pradesh, joined TRS last July. At present, he is an adviser to the state government on the inter-state issues.
Srinivas was considered close to the Congress high command but switched over to TRS after he lost successive elections and allegedly fell out of favour with the Congress leadership.
Lakshmikanta Rao, who has served in the defence forces, is a senior leader of TRS.
TRS president and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao decided on the names of Srinivas and Lakshmikanta Rao after holding consultations with party leaders in the last few days, TRS sources said.
Term of two members of Rajya Sabha from the state is due to expire next month. These members are V Hanumantha Rao (Congress) and Gundu Sudha Rani (TDP), who crossed over to TRS last October.
In the 120-member Telangana Legislative Assembly, TRS has 82 members, followed by Congress (19), MIM (7), BJP (5), TDP (3), CPI (1), CPI(M) (1), Nominated (1), Independent (1).
It is believed that TRS can get its two candidates elected on its own strength. Importantly, some Congress MLAs have switched loyalties to the TRS in recent months.
TRS also decided to nominate former minister Fareeduddin as its candidate for the MLC seat vacated by state Roads and Buildings Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao. The minister got elected as an MLA in a recent bypoll.