TRS picks Naveen Rao for MLC by-poll in MLAs' quota

Wait gets longer for Gutha

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leadership has finalised the candidature of Kurmaiahgari Naveen Rao for the by-election to the seat vacated by Mynampalli Hanumantha Rao in the MLAs’ quota (Assembly Constituency) on Monday, the eve of last day of filing nomination papers on Tuesday.

Party president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is understood to have taken the decision on the candidature of Mr. Naveen Rao immediately after his return from his two-day visit to Tirupati.

Along with Mr. Naveen Rao, the name of Gutha Sukhender Reddy, who joined TRS in June 2016 after getting elected to Lok Sabha on Congress ticket from Nalgonda in 2014 elections, was in the reckoning for the MLC seat.

According to party insiders, it was on the assurance that he would be taken into the State Cabinet Mr. Sukhender Reddy had defected to TRS in 2016. However, various political equations within the ruling party did not allow the party leadership to induct him into the Cabinet before December 2018 elections. Nonetheless, he was made chairman of Rashtra Rythu Samanvaya Samithi, a federation of farmers’ councils mooted by TRS government from the mandal level. Mr. Naveen Rao, on the other hand, was a strong contender for TRS ticket to Malkajgiri Lok Sabha seat but he was denied the opportunity with an assurance to make him an MLC as the party leadership weighed in favour of Marri Rajasekhar Reddy for Malkajgiri. The party, however, lost the seat to Congress in the recent Lok Sabha elections.

As the equations stand now, the party leadership is learnt to have decided to accommodate Mr. Sukhender Reddy when three more MLC seats are vacated. Although the then Chairman of Legislative Council had disqualified three MLCs – K. Yadava Reddy, R. Bhupathi Reddy and S. Ramulu Naik – in January third week following their ‘defection’ to Congress in the run up to December 2018 Assembly elections, the three have approached the court contesting the Chairman’s decision and the case is pending now.

Given the time consumed for the outcome in such matters, Mr. Sukhender Reddy’s wait appears to be much longer than expected now.

Meanwhile, the polling and counting of votes, if necessary, for the MLC election in the MLAs’ quota would be held on June 7. The term of seat vacated by Mr. Hanumantha Rao is up to March 29, 2023.

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