Hyderabad, Oct 15: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was the first to announce its candidates for the assembly elections. In fact, it announced the candidates for 105 candidates immediately after dissolution of the state assembly.
It has been more than a month since the ruling party announced its candidates. It withheld candidates for 14 constituencies and the party has still not been able to iron out differences among the aspirants to announce the names.
By announcing 105 candidates in one go and that too much before the poll schedule was announced, TRS definitely scored a psychological advantage over its rivals. It displayed the party’s confidence in going for early polls and boosted the morale of the cadre.
However, this could not save TRS from rebellion in various constituencies. The sitting MLAs like Babu Mohan, who was denied tickets, quit the party. Konda Surekha and her husband Konda Murali too quit the TRS and joined Congress. As Konda Surekha’s constituency Warangal East was among the constituencies for which TRS did not announce the candidates, she became apprehensive that she may be denied the ticket.
There were other aspirants like Ramesh Rathod who resigned from TRS to join Congress.
But more than the setbacks caused by the resignation of these leaders, TRS is worried over the activities of those aspirants who while remaining in party may work against the official candidates.
For last few days, K. T. Rama Rao has been meeting warring groups in different constituencies to iron out the differences and ensure that there are no threats to the prospects of the official candidates.
Political observers say the peace the party leadership is trying to buy may be temporary and the party still faces threat from rebels in few constituencies. They may either contest as independent candidates or work behind the scenes to mar the prospects of the official candidates.
The fact that senior leaders like Deputy Chief Minister Kadiam Srihari and Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy are sulking, does not augur well for the TRS. The followers of Kadiam have gone to the extent of threatening the party that they will field their own candidates from Station Ghanpur constituency. Ignoring Kadiam, who represented this constituency in the past, TRS once again fielded T. Rajaiah. Kadiam’s followers rejected Rajaiah’s candidature. They are insisting that the party field either Kadiam or his daughter Kavya, who was said to be a ticket aspirant.
With pressure from the party leadership to rein in his supporters, Kadiam announced that he supports Rajaiah’s candidature and urged all TRS workers to back him.
He also made it clear that his daughter was never keen on contesting the election. “I never sought Ghanpur ticket for my daughter. All rumours about me demanding a ticket for my daughter are false. Do not believe those rumours,” he said.
However, Kadiam’s supporters are still not happy with Rajaiah and even if they desist from announcing their candidate, they are likely to work against the party’s official candidate.
TRS faces a similar situation in Musheerabad constituency, which is one of the 14 candidates where TRS is yet to declare its candidates. Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, who represented this constituency in the past, wants the ticket for his son-in-law Srinivas Reddy, who is TRS corporator from Ramnagar. However, the party is not inclined to field him.
Narasimha Reddy, one of the key leaders of TRS, is said to be sulking. He is also reportedly not getting an appointment to meet KCR to present his case.
If Nayani’s son-in-law is denied the ticket, his supporters too are likely to work against the party’s official candidate.
Rebellion from many aspirants including the families of key leaders is a new situation for TRS. It had no such worries in 2014.