Denied tickets, Congress dissidents pelt stones at Gandhi Bhavan; to contest as rebels

While it was expected that the Congress would offer tickets to its young leaders, it ended up accommodating tickets to the same politicians who quit and returned to the party at the very last minute.


HYDERABAD: Minutes after the Telangana Congress released its second list of candidates for the Telangana Assembly polls, the party once again faced massive rebellion from aspirants who were not nominated from their constituencies.

Late on Friday, the Congress released a list of 55 candidates, following up on the 45 candidates it released in its first list. Some of the prominent names to figure on that list included former Indian Cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin from the Jubilee Hills constituency, former Lok Sabha MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi from LB Nagar, former MLA Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, who quit the BJP on Thursday, and joined the Congress on Friday, will contest from Munugode, Ponnam Prabhakar from Husnabad, Gaddar's daughter Vennela from Secunderabad Cantonment (SC reserved), former minister Thummala Nageswara Rao from Khammam and Former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy from Palair constituency.

But what looks like trouble for the grand old party is the growing list of dissidents. While it was expected that the Congress would offer tickets to its young leaders in constituencies where their tall leaders had deserted them, the Congress ended up accommodating tickets to the same politicians who returned to the party at the very last minute.

A notable list of dissidents include Vishnu Vardhan Reddy, son of former Minister P Janardhana Reddy, from Jubilee Hills, K Nagesh Reddy, actor Nitin's uncle, from Nizamabad Rural, Vengalrao Gottimukula from Kukatpally, Chalamala Krishna Reddy from Munugode, Subhash Reddy from Yellareddy and Erra Shekhar from Jadcherla.

Former MLA Vishnu Vardhan Reddy expressed displeasure and resigned from the Congress after the party allotted the Jubilee Hills ticket to Mohammed Azharuddin.

“Jubilee Hills is the only seat in Hyderabad where the Congress party is likely to win. Am surprised that such a seat was given to someone who was not associated with the constituency,” he said.

Vishnu Vardhan Reddy’s supporters threw stones and attacked the Gandhi Bhavan office here on Saturday and tore Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Revanth Reddy’s photos. He is now looking at options of either joining the BJP or contesting as an independent from the constituency.

Similarly, actor Nitin's uncle K Nagesh Reddy is unhappy. He was gunning for the Nizamabad Rural Congress ticket however the party allotted the ticket to Bhupathi Reddy. He has decided to take couple of days to decide on his next course of action after consulting his cadre.

Gottimukkala Vengal Rao from Kukatpally constituency didn't wait long and decided to resign from the party. Addressing a letter to Rahul and Sonia Gandhi, Rao said that although he had been working for the party for the last 40 years, he was always denied a ticket at the very last minute.

Among those who were furious with Congress was Chalamala Krishna Reddy. He was replaced by Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy who rejoined the Congress only couple of days ago.

Expressing his anger at the Congress leadership, Krishna Reddy said, "They cheated me. I have Congress flag high for the last 15 months when Rajgopal Reddy quit the party. All those who cheated me should be taught a lesson." He added that he is preparing to enter the fray as an independent candidate. Krishna Reddy's followers meanwhile burnt the effigy of Rajagopal Reddy in Munugode.

In Yellareddy, dissenting cadres turned dramatic as Subhash Reddy was denied a ticket. One of his men tried to immolate himself but was rescued. A video of Subhash Reddy later went viral where he was seen crying inconsolably as his cadres tried to placate him.

Former MLA Erra Shekhar, who was hoping for a ticket too, decided that he would now contest as an independent from Jadcherla. "This is not right. Surveys have been conducted and candidates who have the ability to win should be given tickets. What has been decided is not right," he said.

Marsukola Saraswati from Komaram Bheem Asifabad, who was hoping to get a ticket, expressed anger that the tribals have been treated unfairly. "The MLA ticket was allotted to a person from a different constituency and not me. My aim is to contest the elections and defeat Shyam Naik," she said.

Enugala Venkat Rami Reddy meanwhile organised an emergency meeting with the followers of from Parakala as he did not get a ticket. He later announced that he would contest as an independent rather than cooperating with Revuri Prakash Reddy.

Warangal West constituency leader Janga Ragava Reddy was also unhappy about not getting the Congress ticket. According to local reports, after being denied a ticket, Ragava Reddy plans to contest as an independent.

Others who were unhappy after being tickets included Gali Anil Kumar from Narsapur, Balamoori Venkat from Huzurabad, Praveen Reddy from Husnabad and Parijata Narasimha Reddy from Maheswaram.

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