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Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president and Huzurnagar MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy will contest in the Lok Sabha election from Nalgonda parliamentary constituency.

On Monday, the Congress finalised the list of candidates for eight of the remaining nine Lok Sabha seats. The candidates named in the list are Uttam Kumar Reddy (Nalgonda), Madhu Yashki Goud (Nizamabad), Anjan Kumar Yadav (Secunderabad), Firoz Khan (Hyderabad), Ch Vamshichand Reddy (Mahbubnagar), Mallu Ravi (Nagarkurnool) and Komatireddy Venkat Reddy (Bhuvanagiri) and Dommati Sambaiah (Warangal).

The candidate for Khammam has not been announced as former Union minister Renuka Chowdhury strongly objected to the ticket being proposed to be given to Gayatri Ravi, the granite businessman. Also, the Congress is waiting if TDP’s Nama Nageswara Rao would join the party, but he reportedly met chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and expressed his interest to contest from Khammam constituency on TRS ticket.

Though many senior leaders lost in the December assembly election, their names were finalised for LS polls by the Congress leadership in Delhi to enthuse confidence and boost the morale of party cadre, which has been on a low after the party suffered one of its worst defeat in assembly elections. Moreover, eight MLAs have defected from the party and joined TRS.

Sources said Uttam was reluctant to enter LS poll fray, but Congress president Rahul Gandhi persuaded him to contest the elections and bring back the lost glory of Congress party in Nalgonda, once a citadel of the grand old party. Rahul said that party heavyweights should contest in the Lok Sabha polls to strengthen the Congress and also win to keep BJP away from power.

Sources said that fielding TPCC working president A Revanth Reddy from Malkajgiri is also part of this strategy, though Revanth had lost in the assembly polls from Kodangal. “It is important to keep the party cadre and leaders at polling booth level intact in the backdrop of MLAs and even second rung leaders leaving the Congress to join TRS,” said a senior AICC member.

The first list of candidates was announced for eight Lok Sabha seats and the second list for another eight seats. Mallu Ravi was named from Nagarkurnool seat and not the sitting Congress MLA Nandi Yellaiah. “Yellaiah was not given ticket keeping the age factor in mind,” said a party leader.



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