Allu seeks Congress help to win RS polls

Mr Allu Arvind, brother-in-law of the Praja Rajyam chief, Mr Chiranjeevi, is lobbying with Congress leaders to wangle one of the six Rajya Sabha seats in the upcoming biennial polls in the state Assembly.

The Praja Rajyam has 18 MLAs, but two from Telangana region have turned rebels as the party leadership is against Telangana formation.

Mr Arvind had contested unsuccessfully to the Lok Sabha from Anakapalle parliamentary constituency in the general elections last year.

The Congress has said it would consider Mr Allu Aravind’s candidature if the PR merges with it.

Though things are yet to be finalised, Mr Arvind seems to have suggested keeping the merger pending. He wants the Congress to help him by not fielding a candidate for the sixth seat, so that he, along with the other five candidates, is elected unanimously.

Two Congress ministers have confirmed Mr Arvind’s moves.

Out of the six Rajya Sabha seats, the Congress is sure to get three and the main Opposition, the Telugu Desam, two.

But for the sixth seat, the Congress would need the help of MIM (which has seven MLAs), three independent MLAs and those of Praja Rajyam.

The Praja Rajyam cannot stand on its own as a minimum strength of 43 MLAs is required to get elected.

However, Mr Chiranjeevi is averse to a merger and prefers election tie-ups.

A pact was almost made between the PCC chief, Mr D. Srinivas, and Mr Arvind, on seat adjustments in the GHMC polls last November. But it did not materialise.

However, it’s an open secret that except two MLAs, the rest are fine with a merger with the Congress. Even the two PRP rebel MLAs have good ties with the Congress. But for a merger, PR MLAs will have to resign first.

Sources in Praja Rajyam say efforts of Mr Chiranjeevi to build an independent image of a champion of a united Andhra Pradesh suffered a setback due to lack of party programmes to sustain efforts to keep the state united.(DC)

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