HYDERABAD: Bureaucrats and businessmen top the list of YSR Congress parliamentary candidates for the 25 Lok Sabha constituencies in Seemandhra for the 2014 elections. The party has announced some of its candidates and finalised others.
Several former IAS and IFS officers, and group-1 officers and their wives, have been selected as candidates, signalling the party's preference for babus. The relatives of politicians are also among the YSRC's candidates.
Former IAS officer V. Varaprasad Rao of the 1983 batch of the Tamil Nadu cadre is the YSRC’s candidate from Tirupati. He was a Praja Rajyam candidate in 2009 and lost to Chinta Mohan of the Telugu Desam. He shifted to the YSRC to contest from Tirupati, a Scheduled Caste constituency.
A high profile Gujarat IAS officer, D. Kishore Rao, and another civil servant, Soubagya Rao, are top of the list of aspirants for Bapatla. Mr Kishore Rao, secretary of the Gujarat Human Rights Commi-ssion, has submitted his resignation. He has held prime posts in Gujarat under Narendra Modi. Sources in the YSRC said he had asked party president Jagan Mohan Reddy that he or his wife, D. Swarna, be given the Bapatla ticket. Mr Kishore Rao’s name first hit the headlines in what came to be known as the Tandoori case. The Congress leader Sushil Sharma was accused of burning his wife Naina Sahni in a tandoor. It was alleged that Mr Rao had given shelter to Sushil Sharma in Gujarat Bhavan. However, he got a clean chit from the courts.
Another former IAS officer, Thota Chandrasekhar of the 1987 batch in the Maharashtra cadre was declared the Eluru candidate. Mr Chandrasekhar took voluntary retirement in 2008 and joined the Pr-aja Rajyam. He contested as PR candidate from Guntur in the 2009 general election and lost.
Sources said the party has almost finalised Ms Reddy Shanti, wife of Reddy Nagabhushan Rao, an Indian Forest Service officer of the AGMUT cadre. She is serving as secretary to the deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha. Ms Shanti’s father Palavalasa Rajasehkaram was the ZP chairman of Srikakulam. He quit the Congress to join the YSRC.
Ms Kotapalli Geetha has been chosen to contest the Araku parliamentary seat. She is a group 1 officer turned businesswoman turned politician. Her father, K. Jacob, was the first graduate from the tribal belt of East Godavari district and worked as deputy collector. Ms Geeta topped her batch in group 1 and joined the state government in 1999. She worked in various capacities and joined her husband as director in the Visweswara Group of Companies.
The YSRC’s list of Lok Sabha candidates include several businessmen, some of whom have been named as accused in Jagan Mohan Reddy’s disproportionate assets case and the Emaar scam. Top industrialist Koneru Prasad has been named for a ticket from Vijayawada, and Ayodhay Rami Reddy of Ramky has got the party’s nomination from Narasaraopet.
Chennai-based businessman Bommireddy Suresh Reddy will be the party's candidate from Ongole, Meridian school owner Ms Butta Renuka will contest from Kurnool, and Mr Chalamalasetty Sunil from Kakinada. Mr Sunil contested as a PRP candidate from Kakinada in 2009 and lost. Ms Butta Renuka is the wife of the promoter of the Butta Group, Mr Neelakantappa. She is director of several companies, including a chain of cloth and jewellery shops.
The kin of politicians contesting under the YSRC banner include Y.S. Avinash Reddy, a cousin of Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy who has got the Kadapa ticket; P. Mithun Reddy, son of Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy (Rajampet), Gudivada Amaranth, son of Gudivada Gurnatha Rao (Anakapalli), K. Vidyasagar, son of former ZP chairman Kukkalnageswara Rao (Machiliaptnam). Sitting MPs S.P.Y. Reddy from Nandyal and Mekapati Rajmohan Reddy from Nellore are contesting again. Mudunuri Prasada Raju is likely to be the candidate from Narsapuram and Mr V. Balashoury has been finalised from Guntur.