'Reserving tickets' before switching loyalties

Hyderabad, May 31 (IANS) Elections to parliament and the Andhra Pradesh assembly may be scheduled for 2014 but politicians in the state have already started switching loyalties to get tickets from constituencies of their choice.

The YSR Congress party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) are leading the parties in poaching MPs and legislators with such offers.

Two Lok Sabha members belonging to the Congress Thursday announced their decision to join the TRS, which has promised to give them

tickets for the seats they are currently representing.

G. Vivek and Manda Jagannatham have managed to "reserve" seats from Pedappali and Nagarkurnool constituencies respectively. Vivek, son of senior Congress leader and former union minister G. Venkat Swamy, was first elected from Peddapalli in 2009.

Jagannatham is eyeing a fourth consecutive term from Nagarkurnool. After representing the constituency for two terms in a row as a member of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), he switched loyalties to the Congress in 2009.

Vivek, an industrialist, has reportedly managed to extract a promise from the TRS that his elder brother G. Vinod would be fielded in assembly elections while Jagannatham is trying to get an assembly ticket for his son.

Senior Congress leader K. Keshava Rao has also decided to join the TRS. He has been reportedly promised a Lok Sabha ticket from the Zaheerabad constituency. He is also holding talks with TRS leaders for an assembly ticket for his son.

Another senior TDP leader in Telangana and former minister, Kadiyam Srihari, quit the party this month to join the TRS after he was reportedly promised a TRS ticket for the Warangal Lok Sabha seat. It was this promise that made sitting Congress MP S. Rajaiah reconsider his plans to join the TRS.

The sub-regional party, spearheading the movement for a separate Telangana state, has also managed to attract some other TDP and Congress leaders with the promise of fielding them in the assembly elections.

It is for the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha constituency that former state minister N. Janardhana Reddy has agreed to merge his Telangana Nagara Samithi with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first week of June.

The former minister was suspended from the TDP in 2011 for criticising the party leadership over Telangana. He quit as an MLA and was re-elected in the by-elections last year with support from pro-Telangana parties.

However, it was the YSR Congress that began this trend of wooing defectors with tickets. Since the party was floated by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in 2011, 30 legislators from both the Congress and the TDP and a MP from the Congress joined the outfit.

Sixteen of them were re-elected in the by-elections while others joined the party during the last one year despite the young leader remaining in jail in disproportionate assets cases.

Senior leaders like M.V. Mysoora Reddy and more recently D. Veerabhadra Rao quit the TDP to join the YSR Congress after they were reportedly promised tickets.

Hoping to ride on the Telangana wave, the TRS has set a target of 100 of 117 assembly seats in Telangana and 16 of 17 Lok Sabha seats in the region.

Leaders of the Congress and the YSR Congress are confident of a sweep, especially in the Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions.

The state sends 42 MPs to the Lok Sabha while the state legislative assembly has 295 members (including one nominated).

(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at m.shafeeq@ians.in)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

It's getting increasingly tough for bowlers: Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Moores set for England recall

Moores set for England recall

The 51-year-old will succeed Andy Flower, who stepped down after five years in charge following the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia in January. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »