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Megastar's Major role
Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi and Rajya Sabha member K.V.P. Ramchander Rao seem to be playing a major role in selecting the Congress candidates for the ensuing elections in Seemandhra and Telangana respectively.
The Congress High Command had entrusted the task of the party’s campaign, especially in Seemandhra, to Chiranjeevi keeping in view his popularity as a film actor. Though former state minister N. Raghuveera Reddy has been made the President of APCC ( Seemandhra), the task of handpicking the party candidates has been entrusted along with him to Chiranjeevi and former PCC Chief Botcha Satyanarayana. But according to insiders Chiranjeevi seemed to be playing a pivotal role in the selection of party candidates for both Assembly and Lok Sabha from Seemandhra, while the other two leaders seem to have been virtually made “dummies”.
It is pertinent to mention here that after the state was bifurcated, the Congress party has virtually become a sinking ship and many senior leaders and stalwarts began deserting the party. As a matter of fact except for a few leaders, who remained in the party not because of any Casabancian love and loyalty for the party but for selfish power garnering motive, the Congress party has become isolated and rudderless in Seemandhra.
Apart from many senior and seasoned Congress leaders leaving the party for greener pastures and joined other parties like TDP and YSRCP, many of them were expelled on disciplinary grounds during the peak of the movement for keeping the state united. Thus the Congress in Seemandhra has no leader worth the name who could keep the flok together.
And with the election notification announced, the Congress High Command entrusted the task of campaigning to Chiranjeevi. But the bigger and more difficult task was to find suitable leaders in Seemandhra to contest as Congress candidates at a tie when the YSRCP and TDP have been packed with Congress deserters. Thus the High Command had no other option but to woo back those who had left the party by offering them the party tickets of their choice to either contest the Assembly or Lok Sabha.
When even this ploy seemed to have not attracted many prominent leaders back into the Congress fold, Chirnajeevi seemed to have come out with the idea of roping in his fans. Accordingly he convened a meeting of the members of his fan clubs from all over the state, especially from the Seemandhra region. He sought their support and cooperation for ensuring the victory of the Congress in the ensuing elections and also promised to give prominent among the party tickets to contest.
As a matter of fact the APCC President has disclosed that the Congress party has decided to given party tickets to the members of Chiranjeevi Fan Clubs. How far this exercise help the Congress to achieve a “box office hit” is a million dollar question making rounds in political circles.
What is also intriguing is that Rajya Sabha member K. V. P. Ramchander Rao, who was once the close crony of late YSR, seemed to be playing the shots in the selection of party nominees for Telangana. Speculations were rife that even the central leaders were depending more on KVP rather than on Ponnala Laxmaiah, the TCC President. In fact the former minister and a senior Congress sitting member from Secundrababd Cantonment constituency, P. Shankar Rao, who has been denied the party ticket alleged that it at the behest of KVP that he was not considered for renomination. Even his supporters in the constituency endorse his views as they wonder why a leader who has been proclaiming Sonia Gandhi as a Goddess and even constructing a temple for her be denied the party ticket. They alleged that since Shankar Rao was responsible for moving the High Court against Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for disproportionate assets which had led the late YSR son to be even spent nearly a year in jail, KVP who is close to the YSR family had ensured that the sitting member would be denied the ticket. (NSS).
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