Telangana polls: BJP announces first list, sans Union minister Kishan Reddy
The BJP has also re-nominated T Raja Singh after revoking his suspension, which he earned last year owing to hate speech and Islamophobic remarks
The BJP on Sunday announced the first list of candidates for next month’s assembly elections in Telangana, fielding three sitting MPs and retaining all three sitting MLAs. The central election committee of the BJP cleared the names for 52 out of 119 assembly seats.
The party has fielded three of its four MPs from the state. The name of Union minister and state BJP president G Kishan Reddy does not figure in the list.
The BJP has also retained all three sitting MLAs. Eatala Rajender will contest against incumbent chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao of the BRS in Gajwel constituency and also seek re-election from Huzurabad.
BJP national general secretary and party MP from Karimnagar, Bandi Sanjay Kumar, has been fielded from Karimnagar constituency. Nizamabad MP Dharampuri Arvind will contest from Koratla. Adilabad MP Soyam Bapu Rao will be the candidate from Boath (ST) constituency.
Sitting MLA D Raghunandan Rao will contest again from Dubbak constituency. The BJP also re-nominated T Raja Singh from Goshamahal after revoking his suspension. The controversial MLA was suspended from the party last year owing to hate speech and remarks hurting religious sentiments of Muslims.
Raja Singh was the only BJP MLA elected to the assembly in the 2018 elections. Raghunandan Rao and Eatala Rajender were elected in by-elections in 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Rajender, who had quit ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) to join BJP after he was dropped from the cabinet, was re-elected from Huzurabad in the by-election in 2021 on BJP ticket.
Once a close confidant of chief minister KCR, Rajender will contest against him in Gajwel. KCR is contesting the polls from two constituencies. He is seeking re-election from Gajwel and will also be contesting from Kamareddy constituency.
Former MP Ramesh Rathod has been fielded from Khanapur (ST) constituency. Gudur Narayan Reddy will contest from Bhongir. Both the leaders had resigned from Congress to join BJP.
The name of Union minister and state BJP president Kishan Reddy is missing from the first list. He was defeated in the 2018 assembly election from Amberpet constituency but was elected to Lok Sabha in 2019 from Secunderabad.
Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy’s name also does not figure in the first list. He had resigned from Congress and quit assembly membership to join BJP and contested the by-election from Munuogde last year, which he lost.
There are 12 women candidates in BJP’s first list. However, the names of BJP national vice-president DK Aruna and former MP and veteran actress Vijayashanti are missing.
The BRS has already announced candidates for 115 out of 119 seats while the Congress has released the first list of candidates for 55 constituencies.