Hyderabad: A contest is now inevitable for the six Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh as seven candidates, including a Congress rebel, are in fray as the deadline for withdrawal of nominations ended this afternoon.
It is after 1999 that an election is being held for Rajya Sabha seats in the state, Legislature sources said.
Only one of the two rebel candidates -- K V V Satyanarayana Raju alias Chaitanya Raju -- has withdrawn his nomination while another, Adala Prabhakar Reddy, refused to budge despite strong pressure from the Congress leadership.
Raju withdrew his candidature after Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy prevailed on him this morning to back out in deference to the wishes of the Congress high command.
Though other top leaders of the Congress tried to persuade Adala to withdraw from the contest, he reportedly refused to heed.
Adala, who is currently an MLA, jumped into the Rajya Sabha election fray on the "Samaikya Andhra Pradesh" (united AP) plank, backed by senior-most legislator J C Diwakar Reddy and others.
Though there was talk that Adala sent in a letter withdrawing his candidature, Legislature Secretary and election Returning Officer S Raja Sadaram said he did not receive any such letter nor any other communication in this regard.
"Adala is in the fray," he said.
Of the seven candidates, three - T Subbrami Reddy, K V P Ramachandra Rao and M A Khan - belong to the ruling Congress, Thota Seetarama Lakshmi and Garikapati Mohan Rao to the main opposition Telugu Desam Party, and K Keshava Rao to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, besides the lone Independent (Congress rebel).