Hyderabad: A day before the 13 March deadline to file nominations for the Rajya Sabha polls, TRS supremo and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced the party’s candidates for the two Rajya Sabha seats. KCR re-nominated party’s senior leader and sitting Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao, popularly known as KK, and former Speaker of Legislative Assembly in undivided AP K.R Suresh Reddy.
Two Rajya Sabha seats are vacant in Telangana and the polls are scheduled for 26 March. However, Telangana will not have to hold the elections for the Rajya Sabha seats because the TRS enjoys a majority in the Legislative Assembly and the party winning both the seats is a foregone conclusion.
None of the Opposition parties have the required numbers in the Assembly even to field their candidates, let alone win the seats. Therefore, TRS candidates will win both the Rajya Sabha seats unopposed.
Interestingly, both KK and Mr Suresh Reddy were powerful leaders in the Telangana Congress earlier. While KK served as TPCC chief, Mr Suresh Reddy was the Speaker of the AP Legislative Assembly between 2004 and 2009 when late Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy was the Chief Minister of AP.
KK quit the Congress in 2012 and joined the TRS in 2013. He served as the Rajya Sabha member of the Congress from 2006 to 2012. The TRS nominated him to the Rajya Sabha in 2014 and his term will expire next month in April. KK also served as the TRS secretary-general, the post which he still holds. With KCR nominating him to the Upper House again, KK achieved a hattrick by becoming Rajya Sabha member for the third time.
However, KCR picking Mr Suresh Reddy for the second Rajya Sabha seat has come as a big surprise because he joined the TRS just before the May 2019 Lok Sabha polls. KCR had invited him to join the TRS to help his daughter K. Kavitha win the Nizamabad seat. However, Kavitha lost to the BJP. Despite this, KCR nominated him for the Rajya Sabha seat amid stiff competition.
KCR’s close aide and Namasthe Telangana Telugu daily owner Damodar Rao, Khammam former Lok Sabha member Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, who sacrificed his seat for Nama Nageshwar Rao in 2019 LS polls, former deputy CM Kadiam Srihari, former Home minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Hetero Drugs owner Parthasarathi Reddy, and former Karimnagar Lok Sabha member B. Vinod Kumar were in the race for the Rajya Sabha seat. TRS leaders from Nizamabad had also urged KCR to nominate his daughter K. Kavitha. However, the Chief Minister chose Mr Suresh Reddy.
Two seats in the state will fall vacant after the tenure of two Rajya Sabha members Garikapati Mohan Rao, who defected from the TDP to the BJP recently, and Dr K.V.P Ramachandra Rao of the Congress ends on 9 April. Though both leaders are from Andhra, they were nominated from Telangana after the bifurcation of the state in 2014. The term of another member, K. Keshava Rao (TRS), will also end on 9 April. However, Mr Keshava Rao, who is the current TRS secretary-general, was allotted to Andhra Pradesh following the bifurcation of the state. KK will now represent Telangana in the Rajya Sabha.