Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief and TS Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao announced the party’s candidates for three Rajya Sabha seats on Sunday. Polling will be held on March 23.
As expected, the CM’s nephew and Telugu news channel managing director, Joginapally Santosh Kumar (old Karimnagar district), has been nominated. The other two candidates are the party’s Backward Class leaders, Badugula Lingaiah Yadav (old Nalgonda district) and Banda Prakash (old Warangal district).
Mr Santosh Kumar was earlier elevated to general secretary of the TRS.
Going by the existing numbers in the Legislative Assembly, the TRS can easily win all the three seats. To win a Rajya Sabha seat, it requires the support of 30 MLAs. The Congress has only 12 MLAs in the 120-member state Assembly, and the TRS has 89 members. The MIM has seven members, the BJP has five MLAs, the TDP has two MLAs and the CPM has one MLA.
However, with the main Opposition Congress deciding to field former Union minister Balaram Naik as a fourth candidate, the elections have taken an interesting turn.
Mr Santosh, who has been working with the Chief Minister ever since the TRS was established in 2001, has maintained a low profile all these years.
He came into the limelight only after he was made managing director of a Telugu news channel, owned by KCR’s family members, a few years ago, and made general secretary of the TRS.
Mr Santosh has the backing of several TRS leaders and activists who requested Mr Rao to give him the Rajya Sabha seat.
The TRS won 63 seats in the 2014 elections; its strength increased to 89 with the defection of MLAs from the TDP, Congress, BSP, YSRCP and CPI.