Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) on Tuesday announced four candidates for Rajya Sabha, surprisingly picking two of them from neighbouring Telangana.
The party has re-nominated YSRCP Parliamentary Party leader V. Vijaysai Reddy for another term.
Backward classes leader R. Krishnaiah and Supreme Court lawyer S. Niranjan Reddy, both belonging to Telangana and industrialist Beeda Masthan Rao are the other candidates.
Elections for four Rajya Sabha seats from the state are scheduled on June 10.
As YSRCP has 151 members in the 175-member Assembly, all its candidates are likely to be elected unanimously.
Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana and government advisor on political affairs Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy announced the names of the candidates after Chief Minister and YSRCP president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy cleared the names.
They said Jagan Mohan Reddy announced two candidates from backward classes (Krishnaiah and Masthan Rao) for Rajya Sabha, which once again demonstrates the importance the party has been giving to backward classes.
They said Jagan Mohan Reddy has announced the candidates without going into the question whether they are from Andhra Pradesh or Telangana.
Vijaysai Reddy, a close aide of Jagan Mohan Reddy, has been re-nominated for a second term. A chartered accountant by profession, the 64-year-old leader hails from Nellore district. He was unanimously elected to the Upper House of the Parliament in 2016.
Vijaysai Reddy has been vocal in raising issues pertaining to Andhra Pradesh, including the Special Category Status and privatisation of the Vizag Steel Plant, in the Rajya Sabha.
Masthan Rao is an industrialist and former MLA from Kavali in Nellore district.
He had quit Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to join YSRCP in December 2019, a few months after YSRCP stormed to power.
Krishnaiah, who hails from Vikarabad district of Telangana, is President of the National BC Association. The 68-year-old led several movements for the backward classes and unemployed.
He quit Congress party and joined YSRCP in February 2019 at the invitation of Jagan Mohan Reddy. In 2018 Assembly elections in Telangana, he had contested unsuccessfully on Congress ticket from Miryalaguda constituency.
Earlier in 2014, Krishnaiah had joined TDP in 2014. He was elected to Telangana Assembly from L.B. Nagar constituency in 2014 on TDP ticket but switched loyalties to Congress party on the eve of 2018 elections.
Niranjan Reddy, a senior advocate in the Supreme Court, hails from Nirmal district in Telangana.
He practiced at the High Court in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. He was designated as a Senior Counsel in the Supreme Court in 2016. He appeared as special senior counsel for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in several matters.