How many Ministers in Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s Cabinet are safe and how many are going to face a tough fight in the Assembly elections?
In KCR’s Cabinet, there are 17 Ministers and of them three are MLCs. Ministers (MLCs) Satyavathi Rathod, Patnam Mahendar Reddy and Mahamood Ali are not contesting. The remaining 14 Ministers are in the electoral battle.
BRS circles say that eight ministers are safe but six ministers are likely to face a tough battle. They say that Ministers T. Harish Rao, KT Rama Rao, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, G. Jagadish Reddy, Vemula Prashanth Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar, Niranjan Reddy and Talasani Srinivasa Yadav are safe.
But Koppula Eswar, Puvvada Ajay Kumar, Sabitha Indra Reddy, Srinivas Goud, Malla Reddy and A. Indrakaran Reddy are likely to face a tough contest.
Former Minister Marri Sashidhar Reddy leaving the Congress and joining the BJP has become a blessing for Minister Talasani Srinivasa Yadav in Sanath Nagar. Minister Srinivasa Yadav would also have faced a tough contest in Sanath Nagar if Sashidhar Reddy had remained in the Congress.
In the 2018 Assembly elections, Sabitha Indra Reddy contested from Maheswaram as a Congress candidate and Tigala Krishna Reddy contested against her as a BRS candidate. Sabitha defeated Tigala by around 9,000 votes. Later, Sabitha joined the BRS and became a Minister in KCR’s cabinet. This made Tigala Krishna Reddy turn hostile.
Recently there were speculations that Tigala may join the Congress. If Tigala continues in the party he may not work for Sabitha wholeheartedly.
In Mahbubnagar, Minister Srinivas Goud is facing dissidence in his own party. BRS circles say that there is a gap between Minister Srinivas Goud and local party leaders. They say that the Minister is avoiding local BRS leaders and this led to dissidence against him.
Koppula Eswar won the last Assembly elections with just 417 votes against Congress candidate Aduri Laxman. At present an election petition is pending against Koppula in the High Court. Recently the High Court dismissed the petition filed by Koppula in the case challenging his victory in the 2018 elections.
BRS circles think that Congress candidate Aduri Laxman has gained public sympathy and this may mean a tough battle for Koppula.
In the erstwhile Khammam district, the BRS is weak. Recently some BRS leaders including former MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy left the party and joined the Congress. Former Minister Tummala Nageswar Rao and former MLA Jalagam Venkat Rao are also planning to leave the party after they were denied BRS tickets.
This will weaken the BRS further and it can affect Puvvada Ajay Kumar in Khammam.
Ministers A. Indrakaran Reddy and Ch. Malla Reddy are also likely to face a tough battle against Congress candidates.