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In Telangana, TRS and other parties are rewarding defectors with party ticket
Defectors have grabbed lion's share in getting party tickets in the ongoing elections in Telangana region. While TRS has given party seats to a large number of defectors, other parties are also not lagging behind. Shifting from one party to another party after the beginning of the electoral process has become order of the day. Surprisingly many parties are rewarding such leaders while announcing list of their final candidates.
This time, the state of Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing unprecedented number of election-eve-defections on a massive scale. Securing ticket to contest the election seems to be the only agenda for many.

As the bifurcation of the state created political 'uncertainty' to many, parties, unsure of their electoral strength are leaving no option untouched but to encourage such 'defections'. As a result leaders of various political hues are crossing over the fence with amazing alacrity and ease.

There have been instances of sitting MLAs and senior leaders shifting loyalties several times within 24 hours. For example, TDP's Medak Assembly MLA Mynampally Hanumanth Rao, who quit the party learning that he may not be denominated, joined the Congress. Pradesh Congress President Ponnala Lakshmaiah took him to party high-command in Delhi, promising him a seat.

When the Congress was unable to accommodate him in its list, as that seat was awarded for sitting TRS MP Vijayasanthi, on the next day he met TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao, who announced him as his party candidate from the same constituency.

Only on last Sunday, he had rubbished that he was changing the party and claimed some leaders were deliberately spreading rumours on this. But on the next day he turned towards the Congress and later shifted to TRS on Tuesday.

While the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which is hoping to form the first government in the new state of Telangana, is leading in this game of rewarding turncoats ignoring committed Telangana activists, its rival parties ' the Congress, the TDP and even the BJP are no exception in this murky game.

The TRS has virtually rolled out a red carpet for turncoats from other parties. The party has rewarded several defectors with tickets to contest the coming elections. The disgruntled leaders from others parties have switched over to the TRS in the last-minute and managed to get tickets.

They include two Communist leaders who were denied tickets by their respective parties -- B Chandravati, the sitting CPI MLA from Wyra constituency in Khammam district and Nomula Narasimhaiah, a veteran former CPI (M) legislator. Both of them secured the TRS tickets from Wyra and Nagarjunasagar Assembly constituencies respectively. Narasimhaiah was the CPM floor leader from 2004 to 2009.

TDP leader Toom Bheemsen, who contested Malkajgiri Lok Sabha in 2009, joined the TRS and is now being fielded from Secunderabad Lok Sabha constituency. Hyderabad Market Committee chairman and the Congress leader M Rammohan Goud, who has been a close associate of union minister Sarve Satyanarayana, also defected to the TRS on Tuesday and managed to get the ticket for LB Nagar Assembly seat.

According to the sources, the TRS deliberately delayed announcement of the candidates' list only to poach leaders from other parties. Former minister and Khammam district Congress president Vanama Venkateswara Rao after knowing that his Kothagudem assembly seat was assigned to CPI, shifted to YSR Congress and now contesting as its candidate.

The TDP leaders who joined TRS in the last few weeks include P Mahender Reddy of Tandur, KS Ratnam of Chevella, S Jaipal Yadav of Kalwakurthy and P Babu Mohan from Andole and they were all rewarded with tickets. More than 10 TDP legislators are now contesting as TRS candidates.

The Congress too is not lagging behind in this game as the party too has poached on TRS leaders. First, the party admitted former TRS legislator party leader G Vijayarama Rao and A Chandrashekar of TRS while back-channel talks for alliance were on. Later, the party included Mancherial MLA Gaddam Aravind Reddy even as several eyebrows were raised in the TRS camp.

Then, the Congress inducted Medak MP Vijayashanti and gave her ticket for Medak Assembly seat. And the latest entrants into Congress camp were Peddapalli MP G Vivek and his brother G Vinod Kumar. Puvada Ajay was given ticket from Khammam Assembly, who was the YSRCP in-charge of the district.

The BJP,also accommodated many leaders from other parties. The Congress leader, who contested unsuccessfully from Medak Lok Sabha constituency Ch Narendranath joined BJP only after being assured ticket this time.

Similarly, TRS leader from Dubbaka Raghunandan Rao quit the party following differences with KCR and joined the Congress first and then moved to BJP, which is fielding him from Dubbaka.




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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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