Hyderabad: Ruling Congress in Andhra
Pradesh is desperately looking for a suitable candidate to
take on its former leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his mother
Vijayalakshmi in two forthcoming byelections.
As it heads for the all-important by-elections to Kadapa
Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies on May 8,
Congress struggles to select someone take on Jagan and his
The by-election was caused following Jagan?s resignation
from the Lok Sabha as well as Congress on November 29 last.
Jagan, son of former Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara
Reddy, will fight for Kadapa Lok Sabha seat while
Vijayalakshmi will vie for Pulivendula seat which she had
vacated along with his son.
Initially, it was expected that Congress would pit state
Agriculture Minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy, Jagan`s uncle,
against his sister-in-law in Pulivendula, a family stronghold.
Viveka, younger brother of late YSR, retired as a member
of state Legislative Council on March 29 and has to get
elected to the state legislature within six months to continue
as a minister.
Since biennial elections to the Legislative Council have
concluded, the only option for Congress is to field him from
Though Viveka today offered to step down as minister,
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy refused to accept his
resignation since there is a constitutional provision that
enables him to continue in the post for six more months.
Initially, the name of Viveka?s son-in-law Narreddy
Rajasekhara Reddy was put in circulation for Kadapa Lok Sabha
seat but the move was strongly opposed within Congress as
Narreddy could be no match for Jagan.
The party then toyed with the idea of fielding senior
leader Varadarajulu Reddy against Jagan but the former MLA
from Prodduturu refused to jump into the ring.
Varadarajulu Reddy had tasted defeat at the hands of
Jagan loyalist D Narayana Reddy in the elections to the
Legislative Council from Kadapa LAC last week.
Though the name of former MP and present chairman of
20-Point Programme Implementation Committee chairman N Thulasi
Reddy too had cropped up, the Congress ignored him as he was
considered ?too weak? against Jagan.
Desperate attempts were being made by Congress leaders to
prevail upon TDP leader Kandula Rajamohan Reddy to contest the
Kadapa Lok Sabha seat.
Rajamohan Reddy gave Y S Rajasekhara Reddy a run for his
money in the 1996 Lok Sabha election in Kadapa as the latter
barely managed to win by a margin of about 5400 votes.
Congress sees Rajamohan Reddy as the only possible option
to effectively challenge Jagan and hence is said to be leaving
no stone unturned to convince him.
Legislative Council Deputy Chairman Mohammad Jani, using
his old friendship with Rajamohan?s brother Sivananda Reddy,
had already held one round of talks with the brothers on the
In case Rajamohan too refuses to oblige Congress, the
choice may ultimately fall on none other than Jagan?s uncle
Vivekananda Reddy himself.
Viveka, who had earlier been elected to Lok Sabha from
Kadapa in 2004, wields more clout than Jagan or even YSR in
Kadapa as well as Pulivendula and thus Congress sees him as
the best bet.
The name of Rajya Sabha member M V Mysura Reddy is being
heard as Telugu Desam Party?s candidate for Kadapa seat.
In the event of Viveka contesting Kadapa Lok Sabha seat,
Congress may not field a candidate against Vijayalakshmi in
Pulivendula, informed sources say.