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Congress announces candidates for remaining three seats in Telangana

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Hyderabad, April 24 (IANS) Day before the deadline for filing nominations for next month's Lok Sabha polls in Telangana, the Congress announced its candidates for the remaining three seats in the state.

The Central Election Committee announced the candidates for Khammam, Karimnagar, and Hyderabad, ending weeks of uncertainty.

With this, the party has announced candidates for all 17 Lok Sabha seats.

Ramasahayam Raghuram Reddy is the party candidate for the Khammam seat. The party took the decision after intense lobbying by several contenders for the ticket.

Vellichala Rajender Rao is the Congress candidate for Karimnagar while Mohammed Sameer Waliullah is the candidate for Hyderabad. They both had already filed the nominations, pending official announcement by the party.

Two sets of nominations were also filed on Tuesday in Khammam on behalf of Raghuram Reddy, the son of former MP Ramasahayam Surender Reddy, and also related to Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy as he is the father-in-law of Srinivas Reddy’s daughter Swapni Reddy.

The Congress leadership selected Raghuram Reddy after weeks of speculation and lobbying by top leaders. Deputy Chief Minister Bhatti Vikramarka wanted the ticket for his wife Nandini while Revenue Minister Srinivas Reddy lobbied for his brother Prasad Reddy.

The issue had reached Bengaluru where the two leaders met Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D. K. Shivakumar on Monday. They also had separate meetings with Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge. Agriculture Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao’s son Yugandhar was also a contender.

Since Vikramarka’s brother Mallu Ravi is contesting as the Congress candidate from Nagarkurnool, a section of the party leaders were opposing a ticket to another member of his family. There were also speculations in party circles that the party may also field former minister Mandava Venkateshwar Rao, who hails from Nizamabad district.

As Khammam is a stronghold of the Congress, there were multiple contenders for the ticket.

Former Union Minister Renuka Chowdary was also an aspirant but she was recently nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

The state leadership of the Congress had requested the high command to field Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi from Khammam but the high command rejected the proposal.

The delay in announcing the candidate has led to confusion among the party cadres and affected the party's poll preparations even as both the BJP and the BRS are ahead in the campaigning.

--IANS

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