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Kodandaram opts out

Kodandaram opts out
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In a day of dramatic developments that took place past midnight on Friday, TJS chief Prof Kodandaram has opted out of election contest from Jangaon and will now be the face of Mahakutami He will be shouldering the responsibility to take on the TRS and would launch intense campaign

Hyderabad: In a day of dramatic developments that took place past midnight on Friday, TJS chief Prof Kodandaram has opted out of election contest from Jangaon and will now be the face of Mahakutami. He will be shouldering the responsibility to take on the TRS and would launch intense campaign.

This decision was taken at two marathon meetings that took place on Friday night in which PCC in-charge RC Khuntia, TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, former TPCC chief and Jangaon Congress aspirant Ponnala Lakshmaiah were closeted for discussions for a few hours after which Khuntia announced that the Congress would be contesting Jangaon seat and Ponnala would be its candidate.

Prof Kodandaram pulling out of Jangaon in favour of Ponnala was the big news that grabbed the limelight in Telangana politics on Saturday morning. It, however, took TJS cadre by surprise because they had readied TJS local office in Jangaon for Prof Kodandaram along with election vehicle over the last week, and this development shocked most of them.

TJS sources stated that Kodandaram was assured of bigger role in Mahakutami as its convener. They said Rahul Gandhi himself shared with Kodandaram that the Congress wants to use his knowledge, experience and understanding of the state in a major way if Mahakutami comes to power. BC card also played its part in Kodandaram opting out. Dissent is being seen among the BC sections over meagre allotment of seats for the Backward Classes by the Congress and hence TPCC and TJS played safe by not denying Ponnala, a BC leader, the ticket.

TJS functionaries added that Kodandaram was one of the contenders for the Deputy CM’s post and he would be nominated as an MLC if the Congress-led alliance dethrones the TRS in upcoming elections. However, Kodandaram did not speak or comment personally on the sudden development. Speculations did rounds for last two months whether the TJS chief would contest in the election or not or was he disinterested to enter the electoral fray in view of the new party not deciding or finalizing any constituency for Kodandaram for several weeks. He chose Jangaon ultimately but had to withdraw from the race due to different reasons.

Cong releases third list
Meanwhile, the central election committee of the Congress has cleared 13 more names for the Assembly elections on Saturday taking the total number of candidates declared so far to 88. The third list contains important names like Ponnala Laxmaiah from Jangaon and D Sudhir Reddy from LB Nagar. Senior leader Marri Shashidhar Reddy was denied ticket from Sanath Nagar. The Congress new list with names of constituencies and candidates is as follows: Boath (ST)-Soyam Bapu Rao, Nizamabad (Urban) - Taher Bin Hamdan, Nizamabad (Rural) - Dr Rekula Bhupathi Reddy, Balkonda - E Anil Kumar, LB Nagar - D Sudhir Reddy, Karwan-Osman Bin Mohammad Al Hazri, Yakutpura - K Rajender Raju, Bahadurpura - Kalem Baba, Kollapur - Beeram Harsh Vardhan Reddy, Devarakonda (ST) - Balu Naik, Thungathurthy (SC) - Addanki Dayakar, and Yellandu (ST) - Banoth Haripriya Naik.

TJS announces 4 candidates
On the other hand, the TJS announced candidates for four Assembly segments after party internal discussions on Saturday. K Dileep Kumar from Malkajgiri, M Bhavani Reddy-Siddipet, K Janardhan Reddy from Medak and Chindam Raj Kumar from Dubbaka would be party candidates.

TJS leaders said that they would announce another list of candidates for four to six constituencies, including Amberpet, Mahbubnagar, Station Ghanpur, Warangal (East), Wardhannapet, Miryalaguda on Sunday. They say if the party announces 10 candidates then friendly contest could be expected in two segments.

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