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YSR,AP Cong chief lock horns over selection of candidates

Just when Cong needs to put up a show of strength against Praja Rajyam and TDP,YSR has entered into a dispute with APCC President Srinivas.

JUST when the Congress needs to put up a show of strength against Praja Rajyam and TDP-led alliance,Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has entered into a dispute with President of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) D Srinivas.

The differences between Reddy and Srinivas have emerged over Reddy’s suggestion that Speaker K Suresh contest from the Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency.

Sources in APCC said that Srinivas had expressed his desire to contest from Nizamabad which is considered a safe seat for the Congress in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The CM’s plan also scuttles chances of renomination for Nizamabad’s sitting MP M Yakshi Goud who fell out with the CM for his pro-Telangana stand. Suresh Reddy and Srinivas are both MLAs from Nizamabad district – Suresh Reddy from Balakonda and Srinivas from Nizamabad.

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The meeting of the APCC election committee on Thursday with AICC general secretary Veerappa Moily following this is likely to be acrimonious and could also lead to factionism within the party.

“The tension between the CM and Srinivas will cause lot of problems. There are going to be communication gaps and ego tussles. This is also likely to lead to disagreement between them over selection of candidates for other constituencies with both the CM and Srinivas coming up with separate lists,” a Congress spokesperson said on Thursday ahead of the crucial candidates-selection meeting.

Meanwhile,D Srinivas is learnt to have let his displeasure at the CM’s suggestion to prop up Speaker Suresh Reddy as Lok Sabha candidate from Nizamabad be known. Srinivas will now have to look for another Lok Sabha constituency to contest or be content with contesting from Nizamabad assembly seat for which he is the sitting MLA.

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Sources say,the CM also wanted to thwart Srinivas’s efforts to get an assembly ticket for his son D Sanjay.

“D Srinivas wanted to move to Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency while he intended to get a ticket for Sanjay to contest Nizamabad assembly seat. His planning is akin to the CM’s own plans of introducing into politics his son Jaganmohan Reddy who is expected to contest from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency. But the CM seems not to like Srinivas’ amibitions,” a loyalist of Srinivas said on Thursday.

The CM and Srinivas are also learnt to have locked horns over selection of candidates in Telangana. Srinivas,who belongs to Telangana,is interested in getting tickets to his loyalists who,if they win will make Srinivas a powerful figure in the party,while the CM disagrees on the choice of candidates who might end up forming a powerful pro-Telangana group.

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However,this is not the first time that Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and Srinivas have had differeences with each other. When the Congress swept the polls in 2004,D Srinivas,who was also PCC president at that time,tried to claim the CM’s post by taking credit for the Congress’ performance,almost toppling Reddy’s dreams of becoming the CM. The intervention of Sonia Gandhi settled the issue finally.

Congress leaders meanwhile are hoping that AICC general secretary will convince them not to take stands that may harm the party. “I don’t think it is such a big issue. Congress leaders including the CM and APCC president can have different opinions but that is not final. The assembly and lok sabha candidates lists would be finally decided by the AICC committee in new delhi later this week,” Congress Chief Spokesperson Venkateshwara Paladugu said.

First published on: 05-03-2009 at 03:33:34 pm
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