The contest for Rajya Sabha seats in the biennial elections in Andhra Pradesh, scheduled for June 10, took an interesting turn in the Adani group’s report on Sunday that Gautam Adani or his wife Preeti would be given a seat.
For months, there has been speculation in the political circles that Preity Zinta may be given one of the four Rajya Sabha seats in favor of the ruling YSR Congress.
The Adani group is running various projects in the state and Gautam Adani had a private talk with YSRC President and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on several recent occasions, which sparked speculation.
The group, however, issued a statement on Sunday saying such reports were “clearly false.”
“It is unfortunate to see selfish people dragging our names in such speculative media reports. Neither Gautam Adani nor Preeti Adani nor any member of the Adani family is interested in a political career or joining any political party, ”the statement said.
Interestingly, the Adani statement has sparked new discussions about a new potential candidate – another industrialist, Chalamlasetti Sunil, who joined the YSRC in 2019 after unsuccessfully contesting the Kakinada Lok Sabha seat as a TDP nominee.
Sunil’s Greenco Energy is running an integrated renewable energy saving project in Kurnool district, which is considered to be the first of its kind in the world.
Incidentally, Jagan will inspect the project on May 17.
In terms of caste calculations, the choice may fall on Sunil, now Adani is no longer running, YSRC sources said.
The name of another big Telangana businessman was common in the rumor mills as he was close to Jagan, but also promoted his name as a potential BJP candidate from another state.
If these two business bigwigs are not considered, the YSRC has a long list of candidates for Rajya Sabha seats.
With its own strength of 151 legislators, and backed by four rebels from the opposition TDP and the People’s Army, the YSRC will comfortably win four Rajya Sabha seats that will fall vacant in June, three gains.
YSRC parliamentary party leader V Vijayasai Reddy, one of the four retiring, is about to be re-elected.
The names of former Union Minister of State Kili Kriparani and Beda Mastan Rao are said to be under consideration for the other two seats. Both belong to the backward class, with the added benefit of being a woman with grace.
The YSRC has not yet nominated a woman for the Rajya Sabha and Gender currently has no representation from the state in the upper house of Parliament. “So grace should be a normal choice,” a senior YSRC leader noted.
Notification for biennial elections will be issued on 24th May and last date for submission of nominations is 31st May.
Since the chief minister is set to embark on a 10-day official-cum-private trip to Europe from May 20, YSRC leaders are hoping he will finalize the Rajya Sabha candidates before he flies away.
In all likelihood, the election will be unanimous because the TDP, with only 20 MLAs, has no chance.
After the biennial elections, the strength of the YSRC in the State Assembly will increase to nine.
The TDP and the BJP will each have only one Rajya Sabha member.