Telangana Assembly elections: Congress grappling with fair ticket distribution to all the communities

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The grand alliance of Congress in Telangana is trying to maintain a balance between different caste groups during the issuance of tickets. AICC general secretary in charge of Telangana RC Khuntia and TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday held discussions in Delhi with screening committee chairman Bhakta Charan Das on various factors – winning criteria, caste equations and social justice.

The screening committee is supposed to finalize the list and submit it to the apex committee of AICC. The AICC is likely to give its final word on the list by October end. AICC leadership also had a discussion on Monday with several SC, ST and BC leaders from Telangana about the prospective candidates from these sections and their chances of winning.

According to the sources there are too many aspirants and caste differences can put the party high command in trouble. In 50 constituencies out of the total 119 segments, there are about three aspirants on 1 seat. The backward classed leaders are demanding around 34 seats as opposed to Congress willingness to give only 20 seats to them. The allies of the Congress like TDP, CPI and TJS are also expecting 40 seats in the elections.

Among the 119 Legislative Assembly constituencies in Telangana, 19 are reserved for SCs and 12 are for STs. The SC/STs have been a Congress vote bank, seeing which the party had launched a Leadership Development Mission in Reserved Constituencies (LDMRC) in these constituencies more than a year ago to strengthen its foothold among the community.

The Congress party is planning to give importance to the SCs of Madiga community as their population is larger than that of another SC community of Malas.  It is proposed to give 12 seats to Madigas and seven to Malas. For STs like Lambadas and Adivasis the party plans to give 6seats to each group.

Although Congress party is taking care of the backward classes, there are chances that it may affect the seat distributiong among the general category. A party leader said, “All these equations are threatening to leave fewer seats in in the open category to be shared among Brahmins, Reddys, Kammas and Velamas”.

Leaders like V Hanumantha Rao have demanded that the party give at least 2 Assembly seats to OBCs in each Parliamentary constituency. They have demanded a share of tickets according to their percentage of population and have written a letter to the party president Rahul Gandhi regarding the same. Meanwhile, AICC leadership is also careful not to disappoint leaders from the Reddy community, who have been important to the Congress’ vote base.

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