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Ponnala In, Shashidhar Out!

Ponnala In, Shashidhar Out!

After making intense lobbying and spending sleepless nights in the corridors of New Delhi, former Pradesh Congress Committee president Ponnala Lakshmaiah finally managed to get the party ticket for contesting the assembly elections in Telangana from his own Jangaon constituency.

Ponnala’s name did not figure in the first two lists of the Congress party, as Jangaon constituency was allotted to Telangana Jana Samithi as part of grand alliance and its president Prof M Kodandaram was making all arrangements to contest from there.

A crest-fallen Ponnala rushed to Delhi and brought pressure on the high command to see that he would get back his seat.

Finally, the issue was settled with the intervention of AICC president Rahul Gandhi, who convinced Kodandaram to drop out. Negotiations continued till Friday midnight and finally, the TJS chief agreed to make way for Ponnala.

At last, the Congress party released its third list of 13 candidates on Saturday morning, though only two days are left for the closure of nominations.

It is yet to release the list for another nine seats. Apart from Ponnala Lakshmaiah, another former minister Soyam Bapu Rao, former MLA D Sudhir Reddy and PCC spokesperson Addanki Dayakar are among the candidates included in the fresh list.

The Congress has so far finalized candidates for 88 constituencies, out of 94 in which it is contesting.

Kodandaram is learnt to have decided to confine himself to campaigning and not to contest the elections from any other constituency.

Meanwhile, another former minister and chairman of PCC election commission affairs committee Marri Shashidhar Reddy is thoroughly disappointed for being dropped from the first list of candidates.

He was supposed to file his nominations from Sanathnagar constituency, but now as part of grand alliance, it is being allotted to the Telugu Desam Party.

Shashidhar, son of former chief minister Marri Channa Reddy, is now contemplating quitting the PCC post and contesting as a rebel.

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Tags: Marri Sashidhar Reddy Ponnala Lakshmaiah Telangana