Drama and confusion due to some last-minute changes of candidates by the political parties and defections by those denied tickets marked the last day of filing nominations for the Telangana Assembly elections on Friday. The deadline for filing nominations for the November 30 elections to the 119-member Assembly ended at 3 p.m.
A large number of nominations were filed across the state on the last day. Those standing in queues at the offices of returning officers at 3 p.m. were allowed to file their papers. Telangana unit Congress chief A. Revanth Reddy filed his nomination from Kamareddy constituency against Chief Minister and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah accompanied Revanth Reddy to the office of the Returning Officer to file the nomination. KCR had on Thursday filed his nomination from Kamareddy and also from Gajwel, where he is seeking re-election. Revanth Reddy is contesting from two constituencies. He had already filed his nomination from Kodangal.
On the last day, BJP announced a final list of 14 candidates including a change of candidates for two seats. Even after the declaration of the final list, the saffron party resorted to last-minute changes in its candidates in the Sangareddy and Vemulawada constituencies.
Though Deshpande Rajeshwar Rao was declared the candidate for Sangareddy, the party gave B-form to P. Raju. Deshpande entered the fray as a rebel candidate. In Vemulawada, Tula Uma, who was already declared as the BJP candidate, was denied B-form at the last minute. The party fielded Vikas Rao.
The Congress also changed its candidate to Narayankhed in the eleventh hour. P. Sanjeev Reddy was declared as the new candidate in place of Suresh Kumar Shetkar. The party has assured Shetkar that he will be given a Lok Sabha ticket.
In the Suryapet constituency, Congress leader Patel Ramesh Reddy filed the nomination as a rebel candidate after the party once again fielded former minister Ramreddy Damodar Reddy. Ramesh Reddy filed the nomination as the candidate of All India Forward Bloc.
The party had announced Damodar Reddy’s candidature on Thursday night, evoking strong protest from Ramesh Reddy’s followers. Ramesh Reddy, a strong aspirant, was so disheartened that he along with his family members burst into tears. He was asked to sacrifice his seat in 2018 too in favour of Damodar Reddy. There was also drama in Patancheru where Nilam Madhu Mudiraj filed the nomination as the candidate of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The Congress replaced Madhu as its candidate on Thursday night. The party named Katta Sreenivas Goud as the candidate in place of Madhu. The party had changed its decision due to strong protests from followers of Sreenvias Goud. Madhu had quit BRS to join Congress recently and ticket to him had angered several Congress leaders in the constituency.
Former state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy (Huzurnagar) and senior Congress leader former deputy chief minister Damodar Raja Narasimha (Andole) also filed their nominations on the last day. BSP state president and former IPS officer R. S. Praveen Kumar filed his nomination from Sirpur constituency. Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) also changed its candidate in the Rajendranagar constituency on the last day. The party named M. Swamy Yadav as its candidate in place of B. Ravi Yadav announced earlier. Scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on November 13 while the last day for withdrawal of nominations is November 15.
As many as 1,133 candidates had filed their nominations till 3 p.m. on November 9 (Thursday). The final figure of nominations is likely to be available late Friday. BRS is contesting all 119 seats on its own while Congress has left one seat for its ally CPI. BJP is contesting 111 seats and has remaining seats for its ally Jana Sena Party. MIM is contesting nine seats and backing BRS in the remaining seats.
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