Arch rivals to face off in Palair

Arch rivals to face off in Palair
Highlights

Election for the Palair Assembly constituency is in for a cliffhanger. What adds spice to the fascinating contest is that fact that TRS’ Tummala Nageswar Rao will be up against his one-time party colleague and Telugu Desam’s former MP Nama Nageswar Rao.

Khammam: Election for the Palair Assembly constituency is in for a cliffhanger. What adds spice to the fascinating contest is that fact that TRS’ Tummala Nageswar Rao will be up against his one-time party colleague and Telugu Desam’s former MP Nama Nageswar Rao.

In a fast-paced development triggered by the announcement of Palair byelection slated for May 16, the political activity picked up in the district. While the ruling TRS has decided to field its Cabinet member Tummala Nageswar Rao, the Telugu Desam Palair constituency leaders who met on Thursday wanted Nama to contest for the seat, expressing belief that he alone can stem the rot in party. Responding to the leaders’ call, Nama made it clear that he was ready to contest if the party wants him in the poll fray.

Like the saying “two swords in one scabbard can’t exist”, the two stalwarts of the TDP Tummala and Nama were never comfortable with each other. The simmering rivalry between them further aggravated and reached new heights during the 2014 elections when Tummala was denied Palair ticket due to internal politics. Then Palair ticket was given to MB Swarna Kumari, Nama’s aide.

Tummala was forced to contest from Khammam seat. Eventually, the TDP lost both the seats. Thereafter, Tummala switched to ruling party at the behest of TRS chief KCR and became minister. Later, he was duly elected to Legislative Council under MLAs quota.

Against this backdrop, the possible faceoff between the two leaders created a lot of interest in the political circles here. On the other hand, the Congress is yet to resolve whom they field from the family members of Ramireddy Venkat Reddy, whose untimely death caused the vacancy. However, it appears Sucharitha, the wife Venkat Reddy, appears to be the frontrunner to contest for the seat.

Besides, Venkat Reddy’s brothers - former minister Damodar Reddy and Krishna Reddy, another brother Gopal Reddy’s son Charan Reddy is also aspiring for the ticket, it’s learnt. Meanwhile, facing a rout in the district and with a hope to regain the past glory, it’s learnt that the TDP leaders are trying to garner the support of the Left Parties.

But it appears improbable as the CPM is likely to field Pothineni Sudrashan Rao, who unsuccessfully contested Palair in 2014, again. The CPI is likely to continue its recent poll truck with the Congress.

The YSR Congress Telangana president Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy had already made it clear that they will mobilise all their forces to win the Palair seat if there was any development to let a member from departed Venkat Reddy's family is elected unopposed.

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