Telangana: Congress, BJP still await candidates list

Hyderabad: When the Election Commission called time on Monday, the Congress and the BJP found themselves without their first list of candidates. The BRS is comfortable ahead in this matter, having named 115 of the 119 candidates as far back as on August 21.

The BRS candidates have had a 51-day headstart, campaigning across their constituencies. The BRS has to name candidates only for Jangaon, Narsapur, Goshamahal and Nampally. MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy in Jangaon and Sunitha Laxma Reddy in Narsapur have stepped up campaigning, after the party leadership reportedly assured the duo of tickets.

BRS Malkajgiri candidate Mynampally Hanumanth Rao, quit the party over the denial of a ticket to his son, the leadership has reportedly assured the seat for Marri Rajashekar Reddy, son-in-law of minister Ch Malla Reddy, following which they have launched campaigning.

The Congress, on the other hand, is still in the process of finalising candidates. The party invited applications from ticket aspirants from August 18 to 25 and received 1,006 applications from 119 constituencies. The TPCC screening committee has met several times, with the latest meeting held on Sunday in Delhi, and is reportedly ready with a list of candidates for 70 seats, while it has multiple names to ponder for 49 seats. The AICC high command will decide the same.

Hurting the Congress is the lack of clarity on the schedule for release of the list. BC community leaders have stepped up pressure by seeking 34 tickets. The party is also waiting to see if disgruntled senior BRS and BJP leaders join its ranks, as they would need to be accommodated.

The buzz in Congress circles is that the list will be out only after Dasara, on October 23. If at all, it may release a short first list with top leaders like TPCC chief A. Revanth Reddy from Kodangal, MPs N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka from Huzurnagar, Nalgonda and Madhira.

The stiff competition for tickets in Congress in several Assembly constituencies due to fights between new entrants and old-timers, and tussles among senior party leaders to ensure tickets for their followers.

The BJP, too, invited applications from ticket aspirants from September 4 to 10. The BJP national leadership is expected to announce the first list of candidates either on October 15 or 16. Party sources said that a consensus was already reached on 21 Assembly constituencies. It has further identified candidates for another 17 constituencies, where there are multiple aspirants. The process of selection for the remaining 81 seats is at various stages.

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