Two Congress rebels among eight Rajya Sabha candidates from Andhra

Hyderabad, Jan 28 (IANS) Eight candidates including two Congress rebels Tuesday filed nominations for six Rajya Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh.

The two Congress rebels from Seemandhra filed their papers as independent candidates after three candidates of the ruling party filed their nominations. Two candidates of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and one from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) also filed their papers.
Unhappy over the central government’s decision to bifurcate the state, two state legislators of Congress party from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) filed their papers.
Chaitanya Raju and A. Prabhakar Reddy filed nominations as Independents. Raju, a member of legislative council who runs Chaitanya group of educational instiutions, said he was contesting for united Andhra Pradesh. He said if the state is not divided, he would withdraw from the contest.
Prabhakar Reddy claimed that Congress party has enough numbers to elect four candidates and since the leadership has not fielded a fourth candidate to back the TRS nominee, they decided to enter the fray.
However, senior leader J. C. Diwakar Reddy, who also planning to contest as an Independent, changed his mind in the last minute.
Congress secretaries R.C. Khuntia and Thirunavakarsu, who arrived in Hyderabad to ensure victory of official candidates, have warned that action would be taken against those who sign the nomination papers of independent candidates.
T. Subbarami Reddy, K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao and M.A. Khan, who were re-nominated by the Congress party, filed their papers before legislature secretary Raja Sadaram, who is the returning officer for the polls.
TDP’s T. Sitarama Lakshmi and G. Mohan Rao, who were nominated for the upper house for the first time, also filed their nominations.
TRS leader K. Keshava Rao was the first to file his papers.
Tuesday was the last day for filing of nominations for six Rajya Sabha seats. Elections, if necessary, will be held Feb 7.
TDP late Monday night named Lakshmi and Mohan Rao as its candidates, leaving some top leaders disappointed.
TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao’s son N. Harikirshna, who had resigned from Rajya Sabha last year to protest the central government’s decision to bifurcate the state, senior leaders S. Chandramohan Reddy and M. Narasimhulu were the aspirants and they left the politburo meeting presided by party president N. Chandrababu Naidu in a huff.
Lakshmi is president of TDP’s West Godavari district unit and her choice came as a surprise to the party leaders. Mohan Rao hails from Warangal district in Telangana region.
Congress Monday announced three candidates and it is likely to support Keshava Rao for the fourth seat.
Subbarami Reddy was nominated for the third consecutive term while Ramachandra Rao and Khan are set to enter the upper house for the second term in a row.
Out of the six seats which fell vacant, five were held by Congress and one by TDP.