Hyderabad, Jan 31 (IANS) With one out of two rebel candidates of Congress party remaining in fray, elections have become inevitable for six Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh.
Chaitanya Raju withdrew from contest Friday, the last day of withdrawal of nominations. However, the second rebel candidate A. Prabhakar Reddy made it clear that he is still in fray.
Returning officer Raja Sadaram said elections for the six seats would be held on Feb 7.
Raju, a member of legislative council, withdrew his nomination after Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy persuaded him not to contest.
Prabhakar Reddy, a member of the assembly, denied that he withdrew his nomination. He said he had nothing to do with the letter given by a man named Venkatramaiah to the returning officer. The rebel candidate said he did not sign any letter. He also claimed to have support of 175 legislators.
Eight candidates including two Congress rebels had filed nominations on Jan 28. The papers of all of them were found valid.
Both the rebels hailing from Seemandhra had entered the fray to defy party leadership over its decision to bifurcate the state.
Three candidates of Congress, two of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and one from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) are in fray
T. Subbarami Reddy, K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao and M.A. Khan were re-nominated by the Congress.
T. Sitarama Lakshmi and G. Mohan Rao are the TDP candidates and if elected, will be entering the house of elders for the first time.
TRS has fielded its general secretary K. Keshava Rao, who is banking on the support of smaller parties and also from some of the legislators of the Congress.
Out of the six seats which fell vacant, five were held by Congress and one by TDP.