The YSRCP on Monday announced the names of their three MLC candidates who will contest the by-elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council later this month. The three candidates who were nominated by the party are Shaikh Mohammed Iqbal, a former IPS officer, former MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy, and cabinet member Mopidevi Venkata Ramana Rao.
The seats were opened up under the MLA quota after three incumbent MLCs resigned after the recent Assembly elections. Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Alla Nani), Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy and Karanam Balaram Krishna Murthy resigned on winning from the Eluru, Vizianagaram and Chirala constituencies respectively. While Alla Nani and Veerabhadra Swamy won from the YSRCP, Krishna Murthy contested from the TDP.
Although Mopidevi Venkata Ramana lost from the Repalle constituency, he was inducted into Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddyâ€™s cabinet as Minister for Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Marketing. His nomination was presumed to be to fulfil the constitutional obligation.
Mohammed Iqbal, who had contested from the Hindupur constituency, lost to TDPâ€™s Nandamuri Balakrishna, an actor and son of former Chief Minister and founder of TDP NT Rama Rao. Jagan earlier announced at an Iftar feast hosted during Ramzan that he would field Mohammed Iqbal in the MLC elections. According to reports, the YSRCP had fielded five Muslim candidates in the recent Assembly elections, of which Mohammed Iqbal was the only candidate who lost.
Former MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy quit the TDP to join the YSRCP in March, just before the elections. He resigned from his position as chairman of the Andhra Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation, a post he had received during the TDP government.
The notification for the three vacant MLC seats was issued by the election commission on August 7, and the last date for filing nominations is August 14. Polling is set to be held on August 26, and counting will take place on the same day.