BJP on Wednesday finalised its candidates for four Assembly bypoll-bound constituencies but kept up the suspense on the Parkal ticket. Both the national party and TRS are waiting on each other to make the first move with reference to this seat in the Telangana region with the suspense likely to last till the end of this month, when filing of nominations closes on May 25.
“We want to first know about the candidates from the other parties, especially the TRS, before deciding on our candidate. Parkal is a significant seat for us and we are determined to win it,” said BJP state president, G Kishan Reddy.
The BJP core committee, that had met on Tuesday, finalised candidates for the Assembly segments of Narasannapet, Ongole, Yemmiganur, and Ramachandrapuram while deciding to keep on hold their choice for the Parkal seat.
While some twelve names are on the shortlist for Parkal, Premender Reddy, Janga Reddy, Devender Reddy have emerged as the favourites for an electoral ticket. However, the likelihood of a new name altogether being selected is not being ruled out just yet. Getting wind of the BJP’s strategy, the TRS has swung into action although it has adopted very much the same technique as the saffron party of keeping the opponent guessing.
The Parkal battle seems like having become something of a desperate siege, particularly for the TRS which is looking to revive its stakes in the Telangana region after having lost the Mahbubnagar bypoll to BJP. Mahbubnagar is home turf for TRS supremo K Chandrashekar Rao.
The TRS leaders are maintaining that they would take a call on their Parkal candidature after the party’s ongoing ‘Palle Bhata’ programme aimed at consolidating its support base in villages. “We will need some more time to decide on our candidate for Parkal as there are various aspects to be considered before taking a final call,” said TRS politburo member, Dr Shravan Dasoju.
With the party considering fielding a strong candidate from the Yadav community for a constituency dominated by voters from backward classes, Bhikshapathy, a Yadav, has emerged as a frontrunner for the TRS ticket.
Sahodara Reddy and Peddi Sudarshana Reddy are among the other names doing the rounds. Sources in TRS agreed that they were wooing Bhikshapathy who, it was learnt, is seeking party funding for his campaign. Party sources said that TRS was at the moment engaged in negotiations with Bhikshapathy.
In certain other quarters, efforts are on to convince BJP and TRS to put up a united candidate for the Parkal seat given that both parties have the common goal of realising a separate Telangana state. Singer-activist Rasamayi Balakishan, reportedly under consideration for the BJP nomination, has said that he is ready to contest as the consensus candidate.
But while BJP has shown its willingness to go with such an arrangement, the TRS is against any such association upon fear that its Muslim voters would desert the party. “Considering the long-term implications of such an alliance, any political understanding with BJP, at this stage, is completely ruled out,” Dasoju said.