Bells ring for Rajya Sabha polls in AP

The Election Commission had released the schedule for the Rajya Sabha elections in 11 States for 58 seats to fall vacant in the first week of April. Three seats from Andhra Pradesh are also due for vacancy on April 2. Former ministers K Chiranjeevi and Renuka Chowdary of the Congress are set to retire on April 2. The TDP member, T Devender Gowd, who was also allotted to AP after bifurcation, is also due for retirement on April 2.

In the given situation, the TDP would be able to retain one seat and win one more seat with its strength in the Assembly, while the YSR Congress has enough strength to win one seat. The TDP is now working on its choice to fill the two seats. Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrsihnudu is firm on grabbing one seat as he wants to make it to the Rajya Sabha at least now. Going to Rajya Sabha has been a long pending demand of Yanamala and it is now or never for him. He is likely to be the one candidate of the two the TDP can win this time. The second seat, it is widely said that, business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, had reportedly asked for one seat to one of his leading associates in Andhra Pradesh. It is to be seen if Chandrababu Naidu would honour Ambani’s request or would give a chance to one of his party’s aspirants.

As far as Jagan Mohan Reddy is concerned, he had already promised this seat to the Muslim community. He made this commitment during the election campaign in Nandyal by-election last year and it is to be seen if he would stand for his word or succumb to the pressure from industrialist in Nellore.

There is also a possibility of Chandrababu Naidu trying to strip Jagan Mohan Reddy of his one Rajya Sabha seat by taking at least two or three MLAs from the YSR Congress. This would mean that Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party would have no chance to stake a claim for the seat and all the three would go to the TDP. However, in the present political situation where Chandrababu Naidu is locked horns with the BJP over the special category status issue, he may not try this and might allow the YSR Congress to have its one seat.

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