Hyderabad: With the announcement of the Rajya Sabha biennial poll schedule on Monday, Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu is under tremendous pressure from party leaders who are aspiring for six-year term in the Upper House.
Naidu has reportedly cleared the name of senior legislator and prominent Dalit leader M. Narasimhulu from the Telangana region. Narasimhulu is a five-time legislator and was a former minister during the TD regime.
The party, with its Assembly strength, can send two leaders to the Upper House in the February 7 poll for the six Rajya Sabha seats from the state. It has been Naidu’s policy for the last four years to send one leader each from Telangana and Seemandhra regions.
There was, however, pressure on him this time to nominate senior party leader and industrialist Garikapati Mohan Rao from Warangal. He is one of Naidu’s key aides along with Sujana Chowdary, Nama Nageswara Rao and C.M. Ramesh, who have already been made MPs. Though Mohan Rao is based out of Warangal district, the hot bed of Telangana, he actually hails from the coastal districts and belongs to the dominant Kamma community.
With Naidu deciding to send a Dalit leader this time and selecting Narasimhulu as there was not a single party MP representing the prominent caste in the Rajya Sabha, chances of Mohan Rao now appear bleak.
Meanwhile, for the second seat, there is lot of pressure on Naidu from his own community. Former MP Kambhampati Rammohan Rao, who has very good relations with various political leaders in Delhi, is pulling out all the stops to get nominated.
There is also talk that since Nandamuri Harikrishna resigned to his membership few months ago, much to the dissatisfaction of Naidu, the TD president may go for Nandamuri Balakrishna this time in order to continue late NTR’s legacy.
Though Balakrishna had earlier stated that he would contest in the coming Assembly or Lok Sabha polls, he has stopped repeating the statement recently. This has given rise to the rumour that he prefers a Rajya Sabha seat, so that he can effectively campaign for the party in the coming elections without confining himself to a particular constituency.