Kiran faces test of true strength

HYDERABAD: Winning five seats and helping allies – Chiranjeevi and MIM – win one each is the challenge that is before Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy when the election for 10 MLCs by MLAs takes place on Thursday. There are 12 candidates in the fray for the 10 seats. The Congress is contesting five and has allotted one each to Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam — which has merged with the Congress — and MIM.

Given its strength (155 MLAs), the Congress and allies cannot win more than six. Nonetheless, the party has fielded another candidate M Ranga Reddy (Hyderabad). Its official candidates are Paladugu Venkata Rao (Krishna), B Chengal Rayudu (Kadapa), M Sudhakar Babu (Kurnool) and Mohammad Jani (Guntur). Chiru is fielding C Ramachandraiah (Kadapa) while the MIM has Syed Altaf Hyder Razvi (Hyderabad) in the fray.

The TDP, on the other hand, is fielding three candidates and is supporting CPI candidate PJ Chandrasekhar (Prakasam). The TRS too has a lone candidate Mahmood Ali. Wary of the threat from YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s camp, Kiran Kumar Reddy on Wednesday counselled MLAs owing allegiance to the former MP to vote for the party candidates.

The legislators, numbering about 25, are understood to have decided to sail along with the Congress since Jagan has not fielded any candidate. But their support remains doubtful.

The other factor at play is the Telangana issue. Will Telangana MLAs, cutting across party lines, vote for a T candidate? Then again, there are four candidates from Telangana in the fray. (ENS)

We would like to hear your comments below: