Race for Tickets Heats Up in BRS
DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Venkat Ram Reddy
Hyderabad: Ahead of the Assembly polls, the BRS is in a quandary of plenty, as incumbent legislators are sparring with senior BRS leaders — with the fight especially acute in constituencies where Congress MLAs switched to BRS — and GHMC corporators for poll tickets.
The tension among sections of the party is keeping all concerned on tenterhooks, with the boiling tensions sometimes ending in streetfights.
Negative campaigns by opponents of MLAs are taking shape, with survey reports being circulated on social media to show the target in a poor light. Further, such posts are also being carried with statements that the Chief Minister has decided to deny them tickets.
In many instances, these fights are boiling over into quit threats, with BRS leaders looking to join the Congress or the BJP in their quest for an assured ticket to contest the upcoming polls.
In one such instance on Wednesday, BRS leader Teegala Krishna Reddy threatened to quit if he was not assured a ticket for the Maheshwaram constituency, where Sabitha Indra Reddy is the incumbent, after switching over from the Congress in 2018.
Sources said that ticket aspirants are also putting up show of strengths to K. Chandrashekar Rao and K.T. Rama Rao at officials programmes in HMDA limits. Besides, aspirants are also competing with one another to put up hoardings and cutouts at prime spots to welcome Rao or his son. The competition has also led to physical confrontations between groups.
Two days ago, when Rama Rao was in Uppal to inaugurate a skywalk, supporters of three leaders — MLA Bethi Subhash Reddy, former GHMC mayor Bonthu Rammohan and ex-Congress leader Bandari Lakshma Reddy, got into a tussle while trying to catch Rama Rao’s eye.
A similar incident took place in LB Nagar constituency, when MLA Devireddy Sudheer Reddy, who switched to BRS from Congress, got into a tussle with BRS leader M. Ram Mohan Goud over the ticket issue, following which Goud threatened to quit the party if not given a ticket.
In the Serilingampally constituency, incumbent MLA Arekapudi Gandhi is facing resistance from local BRS leader Bandi Ramesh, besides GHMC corporators R. Nagender and V. Jagadeeshwar Goud, both of whom have stepped up political activities, claiming that the party's high command is considering their candidatures.
In the Rajendranagar constituency, incumbent MLA T. Prakash Goud is facing stiff competition from Chevella MP G. Ranjith Reddy, who wants to contest the Assembly elections.
In Medchal, incumbent MLA and minister Ch Malla Reddy is engaged in a tussle with former MLA M. Sudheer Reddy.
Malla Reddy, when he was Malkajgiri MP, defected from TDP to BRS in 2016, following which Chandrashekar Rao opted to allot Malla Reddy the Medchal Assembly ticket in 2018 in Sudheer Reddy’s place. Although Sudheer Reddy did not rebel then, he is currently revolting against the party, demanding the Medchal ticket.
In Musheerabad, MLA Muta Gopal is facing opposition from local BRS leaders M.N. Srinivasa Rao and former Ramnagar corporator V. Srinivas Reddy, the son-in-law of former home minister late Nayini Narasimha Reddy.
Amberpet MLA Kaleru Venkatesh is facing dissent from local BRS leaders Edla Sudhakar Reddy and D.P. Reddy, besides D. Srinivas Goud, the husband of BRS Golnaka corporator D. Lavanya.
These apart, a few BRS MLAs are trying to bring their kin in their place in the event of party leadership denying them tickets, further compounding the problem.