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Smooth sailing for all six RS nominees

Special Correspondent

— Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

HAPPY BUNCH: Chief Minister K. Rosaiah along with Congress nominees in Hyderabad on Friday.

HYDERABAD: All the four Congress and two Telugu Desam candidates to the Rajya Sabha had smooth sailing on Friday as only six nominations were filed for as many vacancies making their election a certainty.

When the deadline for filing nominations concluded at 3 p.m. Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, V. Hanumantha Rao, J.D. Seelam and N. Janardhana Reddy (all Congress) and two Telugu Desam nominees, Y.S. Chowdary and Gundu Sudha Rani filed their papers before Legislature Secretary S. Rajasadaram.

If their papers are found in order during scrutiny on Saturday, they will be declared elected on June 7.

The Congress party's initial apprehensions finally turned out to be unfounded. With its own flock consisting of only 156 MLAs whereas 164 votes were needed to get its candidates elected on the basis of first preference votes, the party's concerns appeared justified.

It insured itself against any risk in the form of defiance by MLAs supporting Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy by roping in the support of 16 members of the Praja Rajyam, even though it had an ally in the MIM (seven MLAs) and enjoyed the backing of three independents.

The Congress put up a show of solidarity when the nominations were filed.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, APCC president D. Srinivas, K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, MP, over a dozen Ministers, several MPs, MLAs and MLCs were present.

The TDP leaders too turned out in full strength though their party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu did not make an appearance.

Senior leaders who were present included K. Yerran Naidu, Lal Jan Basha, Nagam Janardhan Reddy and TD Parliamentary Party leader Nama Nageswara Rao.

What stood out was the contrast between the Congress and TDP candidates. While at least two of the four from the ruling party were tried and tested veterans, including a former Chief Minister, Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Hanumantha Rao who is running for the third term, both TDP candidates are first timers.

By choosing them, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu not only proved his supremacy in the party, but continued the party founder N.T. Rama Rao's legacy of springing surprises.

The last day for withdrawals is Monday.

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