Warangal: Following the AICC’s decision to field former Union minister Porika Balram Naik from the Mahbubabad Lok Sabha constituency, the Adivasi and Lambada leaders from within the party have announced that they will be contesting as rebels. One candidate each from the Adivasi and Lambada leaders have declared that they will be contesting the election.
The Lambada Hakkula Porata Samiti (LHPS) has come down hard on the Congress’s decision regarding its selection of candidates. The leaders questioned why the party had chosen someone who was defeated in three consecutive elections. After being elected in 2009, Mr Naik contested once again in 2014 but lost to the TRS’ Ajmeera Seetharam Naik. In 2018, he was nominated for the Rajya Sabha but lost the election. In the same year, he contested the Assembly elections from the Mahbubabad constituency but was defeated once again.
Not only the Adivasis but also the Lambadas said that Mr Naik does not deserve another chance. Several Congress workers from the constituency joined the TRS after the AICC announced Mr Naik as the candidate.
LHPS state president Kotya Naik announced that AICC tribal cell co-chairman Bellaiah Naik Tejavath will contest the seat as a rebel candidate.
Meanwhile, TPCC member and Adivasi leader Chimala Venkateshwarlu called it unfortunate that the Adivasis continue to be ignored despite having more representation than the Lambadas. He pointed out that Congress has declared the Lambadas from both, Mahabubabad and Adilabad, which are reserved for STs. He threatened to contest the elections if the party fails to rethink.