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Threat Of Cross-Voting Looms Large In MLC Elections

The threat of cross-voting is looming large for the Congress' MLC candidate Gudur Narayana Reddy, who is contesting for an MLC seat under the MLAs' quota.
Hyderabad | 1st March 2019
The threat of cross-voting appears to be looming large for the Congress' MLC candidate Gudur Narayana Reddy, who filed his nomination papers for an MLC seat under the MLAs' quota on Thursday.

Reddy is exuding confidence that he will win the seat easily as the party has adequate strength. The party requires the support of 21 Telangana MLAs to win the seat. However, it has only 19 MLAs in the Assembly, and is relying on the support of the two MLAs of its grand alliance partner, the TDP.

While one of the two TDP MLAs, Nageswara Rao, who won the Aswaraopeta Assembly seat, is likely to vote for the Congress candidate, the other TDP MLA Sandra Venkata Veeraiah, who won the Sattupally assembly seat, appears to be wary of voting for the Congress.

According to sources, Veeraiah is maintaining equal distance from both the Congress and his own TDP ever since he won the seat for a third consecutive term. It was being widely reported that he would cross the fence and join the TRS days after the Assembly elections. It was also being widely reported that he would be made a minister in Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's cabinet. Veeraiah even held a meeting of his supporters and followers to discuss the issue of joining the TRS.

The Congress is doubtful about the support of its own MLAs, too. Senior party leaders are saying that some of the party MLAs like former home minister Sabitha Indra Reddy, Vanama Venkateswara Rao and Jagga Reddy are giving indications that they might cross the fence. Although all these leaders have said that they would remain with the Congress at any cost, the party has grown apprehensive about them.

Elections for the five MLC seats under the MLAs' quota have been necessitated following the decision of ruling TRS to contest all the five seats. The TRS has kept four seats for itself and left the fifth seat for its ally the MIM. While the ruling party has the support of 90 MLAs, its number in the house goes up to 97 with the addition of the seven MLAs of the MIM. An MLC candidate requires 21 first priority votes to win the seat. This means that the TRS and MIM fall short by eight MLA votes to win the fifth seat.

All eyes are also on the lone MLA of the BJP, Raja Singh. The BJP has not yet decided on the issue of taking part in the elections. However it is highly unlikely that Singh will extend his support to either the TRS or the Congress.

The election for the MLCs is scheduled to be held on March 12, 2019.
filed in:  Telangana, MLC Elections, Telangana Congress, Gudur Narayana Reddy, Telangana Legislative Council, TDP, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah, TRS, MIM, Elections
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