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Congress may retain most MPs

HYDERABAD: With the Election Commission (EC) set to issue the poll notification any time this week, the race for the Congress Lok Sabha ticket has begun. A majority of the members are likely to be re-nominated.

The race has become complex with several constituencies getting abolished and some either getting reserved or de-reserved. This has created confusion over the fate of MPs who will be displaced. Following the delimitation, the SC and ST seats have gone up to seven and three respectively. Tenali, Bhadrachalam, Miryalaguda, Siddipet, Parvatipuram, Bobilli and Hanamkonda constituencies have been abolished. Araku (ST), Vizianagaram, Mahabubabad (SC), Chevella, Malkajgiri, Bhongir and Zaheerabad constituencies have been created.

A preliminary exercise to shortlist candidates for the 42 Lok Sabha seats is expected to be taken up shortly. Indications are that senior MPs, including N. Janardhana Reddy, Union Ministers S. Jaipal Reddy, Renuka Chowdhury and M. M. Pallam Raju will get another chance. Mr. Janardhana Reddy has set his eyes on the Nellore seat this time forcing Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi to look towards Tirupati or Chittoor. Mr. Jaipal Reddy may switch over from Miryalaguda to neighbouring Nalgonda, while Ms. Chowdhury and Mr. Raju may get the nod from Khammam and Kakinada, respectively.

Party sources said MPs from Vizianagaram, Parvatipuram (now Araku ST), Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Machilipatnam, Ongole, Narasaraopet, Guntur, Tirupati, Rajampet, Anantapur, Kurnool and Mahabubnagar could be retained. The going, however, may not be easy for Amalapuram MP G. V. Harsha Kumar, who has rubbed Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy on the wrong side with his critical remarks.

TSR hopeful

Former Union Minister T. Subbarami Reddy is hopeful of getting the Visakhapatnam seat which will be vacated by Mr. Janardhana Reddy. Senior party leader K. Bapiraju may contest from Narsapur.

Union Minister D. Purandeswari (Bapatla now reserved for SCs) and Tenali MP V. Balashowry are looking for alternate seats. Two former bureaucrats, J.D. Seelam (Rajya Sabha member) and D. C. Rosaiah, are vying for Bapatla. The Kadapa Lok Sabha seat is likely to be with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s family.

The fate of Madhu Yashki Goud hangs in the balance if APCC president D. Srinivas insists on contesting from Nizamabad.

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