DS casts doubts over Suresh, Shabbir’s win

Nizamabad, April 28: The names of power minister Mohammed Shabbir Ali and Assembly speaker K R Suresh Reddy were missing in the list of winning candidates

prepared by the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) that would be submitted to AICC president Sonia Gandhi, it is learnt.

PCC chief Dharmapuri Srinivas, who left for Delhi on Monday with the list, would explain the reasons for the party’s poor show in Nizamamabad district to Sonia Gandhi, party sources said here. Of the nine assembly segments that went to the polls on April 16, the PCC chief has mentioned only two candidates — that of himself from Nizamabad urban and S Srinivas Reddy from Balkonda — of coming up trumps.

A senior district Congress leader said DS was sure of his victory and that of the son of TRS dissident MLA S Santosh Reddy from Balkonda seat. Curiously, District Congress Committee president Gadugu Gangadhar has claimed that the party would bag all the nine assembly segments and the Nizamabad Lok Sabha seat.

Sources said apart from Shabbir and Suresh, the names of sitting MLA Bajireddy Goverdhan Reddy (Bhanswada), Sudarshan Reddy (Bodhan), Janardhan Goud (Yellareddy) and Akula Lalitha (Nizamabad rural) were also missing in the list. “Since these candidates were facing stiff resistance from their opponents, DS did not include their names in the list,” a source said.

The DCC president said the people would repose faith in the Congress candidates only and elect them with thumping majority. “Thanks to YSR’s welfare schemes, pensions, loan waiver for farmers, NREGS, Indiramma houses, Rs 2 kg rice, our party will score a landslide victory,” he claimed.

However, sources said the PCC chief got the list prepared after a close scrutiny only. “It is a direct fallout of voter antipathy towards the top trio in Nizamabad district that the electoral fortunes of Shabbir, Suresh and for that matter, DS, look bleak,” an analyst said.

Unlike previous elections when political stalwarts of Congress held on to their seats despite anti-incumbency, the victory of the top leaders is looking doubtful, sources said. Panic-stricken leaders are busy working out statistics of votes polled in favour of the trio from different communities, associations, teachers and employees’ unions in villages and mandals in their respective constituencies.

“Indeed, Shabbir’s position in Kamareddy is on the razor’s edge,” admitted a senior Congress leader on the condition of anonymity. Sources said the people were fed up with the intrusive politics pursued by minister’s brother Mohd Nayeem. “Shabbir was hardly accessible to the local party leaders and cadre. With Nayeem calling the shots, the cadre might have gone for cross voting during the polling,” a source said.

Though the minister has exuded confidence of retaining Kamareddy assembly seat with over 2,000 vote majority, his Grand Alliance rival Gampa Goverdhan is on cloud nine. He claimed that the people are with him and that he would emerge victorious with a huge margin.

“The speaker is feeling the heat much before the May 16 outcome. It looks like the dice is heavily loaded against him,” a Congress leader from Armoor said. Sources said notwithstanding the fury of red jowar farmers, non-payment of compensation to Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) evacuated villagers could upset Suresh Reddy’s calculations.

A four-time MLA, Suresh Reddy shifted to Armoor from his Balkonda constituency in this poll. He is facing a formidable challenge from his aunt and Mahakutami candidate Annapurnamma.

Even DS himself is spending sleepless nights as his victory march could come to a grinding halt in Nizamabad urban constituency where a meagre number of 39.54% of votes were polled during the April 16 elections.