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48 MLAs dropped from Congress list

Special Correspondent

Three Ministers are among them

HYDERABAD: The Congress party made a head-start over other major political parties on Saturday when the All India Congress Committee (AICC) released a list of its candidates for 290 Assembly and all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh.

There are 90 new faces among the party’s nominees for the Assembly and 15 in the list of Lok Sabha candidates in tune with the party’s declared policy to encourage youth.

Many of these freshers are young, though some are the wards of seasoned politicians such as Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and CWC G. Venkatswamy.

The party dropped as many as 48 MLAs, including three Ministers and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, G. Kutuhalamma, besides Hindupur MP Col. Nizamuddin. The Ministers are Koneru Ranga Rao, Gollapalli Surya Rao and M. Hanumantha Rao, the former two belonging to the Scheduled Castes while the latter hailing from the Backward Classes.

The party is yet to announce the candidates for Rajahmundry Rural, Dubbak, Khammam and Miryalguda. Minister Jakkampudi Ramamohana Rao’s candidature from Rajahmundry Rural is yet to be finalised.

Prominent among the Lok Sabha candidates are the Chief Minister’s son Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy (Kadapa) while all the Union Ministers – S. Jaipal Reddy (Chevella), Renuka Chowdary (Khammam), Panabaka Lakshmi (Bapatla SC), M.M. Pallam Raju (Kakinada) and Daggubati Purandeswari (Visakhapatnam) have been retained, though from some new constituencies. Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy (Pulivendula) leads the list of Assembly candidates which includes APCC president D. Srinivas (Nizamabad Urban), Speaker K. R. Suresh Reddy (shifted from Balkonda to Armoor).

Koneru Ranga Rao, a senior Minister, was dropped as he sought the ticket for his daughter, a proposal that was not accepted by the leadership. Two of Chief Minister’s bitter critics – G. V. Harsha Kumar (Amalapuram-SC) and Madhu Yaskhi (Nizamabad) have been re-nominated to the Lok Sabha.

An analysis of the Assembly list shows that the party has given representation to 153 candidates belonging to the Backward Classes (66), SCs (48), STs (19) and minorities (16). Among the rest, Reddys have been given the lion’s share of 87 seats, followed by Kammas (16) and Kapus (15). Similarly, in the list of Lok Sabha nominees, 24 belong to the weaker sections and minorities and 18 to the other castes.

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