Ending suspense, Congress names candidates for Khammam, Karimnagar and Hyderabad seats

Rajender's nomination threw cold water on A Praveen Reddy's hopes of getting the party ticket in return for withdrawing from the Assembly race last year.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Apr 25, 2024 | 9:28 AM Updated Apr 25, 2024 | 9:29 AM

Velchala Rajender Rao, a Velama, is banking on the image of his father, the late Velchala Jagapati Rao. (X)

Ending days of suspense, the Congress High Command on Wednesday, 24 April, finalised the names of its candidates for Karimnagar, Khammam, and Hyderabad Lok Sabha seats.

The names were announced a day ahead of the deadline for filing nominations in Telangana.

The Congress named Velchala Rajender Rao, a Velama, for the Karimnagar Lok Sabha seat. He is now poised to take on BJP national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar and BRS former MP Boinpalli Vinod Kumar.

Rajender is banking on the image of his father, the late Velchala Jagapati Rao, a two-time MLA and an MLC. He was a well-known leader in the Karimnagar district. He was a legislator from Jagtiyal in 1972 (Congress) and Karimnagar (Independent) in 1989 and represented Telangana graduate’s constituency in 1978 (Independent).

He had also served the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) as its general secretary and focused on people’s issues. Leveraging on his father’s legacy, Rajender is trying to find acceptance in the Congress with a constituency-specific manifesto with innovative schemes.

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Praveen Reddy out in the cold

Rajender’s nomination threw cold water on A Praveen Reddy’s hopes of getting the party ticket in return for withdrawing from the race for the party nomination for the Husnabad Assembly seat in the recent elections.

According to sources, though Praveen Reddy’s name was also under consideration, his candidature was put aside since the party has nominated a Reddy for Khammam Lok Sabha seat — Ramasahayam Raghuram Reddy —  son of former MP R Surender Reddy. The party cannot field Reddys for both Khammam and Karimnagar and that was said to be the reason why the ticket went to Rajender.

As far as the Khanmam ticket is concerned, Raghuram Reddy is related to Revenue Minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy who had lobbied hard to get the ticket for his brother Prasad Reddy.

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Mohammad Waliullah Sameer in Hyderabad

The party finally brought Raghuram Reddy to appease him to some extent. The other aspirants for the Khammam ticket were deputy chief minister Batti Vikramarka’s wife Nandidi, Agriculture Minister Thummala Nageswara Rao’s son Yugandhar, and former minister and Kamma leader from Nizamabad Mandava Venkateswara Rao.

The party named Mohammad Waliullah Sameer as its candidate for the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat where he would have to battle Asaduddin Owaisi, president of AIMIM. He also would have to reckon with K Madhavi Latha of the BJP who has been actively campaigning in the constituency.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).