Hyderabad: Intense lobbying is on in both the
ruling Congress and the principal opposition Telugu Desam
Party in Andhra Pradesh for the six Rajya Sabha seats
elections for which are slated for June 14.
Five Congress members Union Minister of State for
Environment Jairam Ramesh, J D Seelam, V Hanumantha Rao,
Girish Sanghi and Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy ? and one CPM
member Penuballi Madhu are retiring from the Upper House of
Parliament next month.
Accordingly, the Election Commission of India announced
the biennial election schedule yesterday.
While all the retiring Congress members are aspiring for
re-nomination, some others like former Union Minister Renuka
Choudary and Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president D
Srinivas are also staking claim for a seat in Rajya Sabha.
Going by its current strength of 156 in the state
Assembly, the Congress can, however, win only four seats while
the TDP will get two.
The ruling party will comfortably win three seats but
will have to muster support from its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul
Muslimeen (MIM), which has seven MLAs, to clinch the fourth.
It also has the support of three "associate" members (Independents).
An election becomes inevitable only if the TDP fields a
third candidate or if Chiranjeevi`s Praja Rajyam Party with 18
members jumps into the fray.
For now, the TDP has not decided on fielding a third
candidate despite many aspirants vying for a seat within the
There is talk in the Congress camp that Jairam Ramesh
might be fielded from his home state Karnataka this time to
make way for his Cabinet colleague Anand Sharma from Andhra
If Sharma gets accommodated from any other state, Jairam
Ramesh might be retained here, Congress sources indicate.
Janardhana Reddy, a former Chief Minister of the state,
is strongly seeking a re-nomination as he got only a truncated
tenure in Rajya Sabha last time in a by-election.
Playing the Backward Caste card, Hanumantha Rao is trying
his luck again and hopes to get the backing of Chief Minister
Seelam, a retired IAS officer, wants a second term in
Rajya Sabha in the Scheduled Caste quota.
Having failed to get the ticket in the state Legislative
Council election, PCC chief D Srinivas is hoping to get a
berth at least in the Upper House of Parliament.
Though he has the option of contesting the forthcoming
Assembly by-election from his hometown Nizamabad, where he
lost in 2009, Srinivas is said to be keen on a Rajya Sabha
berth, not confident of victory in the by-poll as well.
Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu too has
a long list of aspirants for the two Rajya Sabha seats his
party could win.
Top among the contenders are former Union Ministers K
Yerran Naidu (who lost the 2009 election from Srikakulam Lok
Sabha constituency), Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, former state
ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, P Chandrasekhar, former
member of Rajya Sabha K Ramamohana Rao, businessman Ch Ramesh
and senior party leader Garikapati Mohan Rao.
Former MPs Laljan Basha and K Srinivasulu are also eyeing
the RS nomination, party sources said.
Since June 4 is the last day for filing of nominations,
the parties are expected to finalise the candidates only at
the beginning of next month.