Vijayshanti gets Medak, KCR to contest from Mahbubnagar (Lead)

March 29th, 2009 - 12:09 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Hyderabad, March 28 (IANS) Reversing its decision within a few hours, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Saturday announced that popular actress and party leader Vijayshanti will contest from the Medak Lok Sabha constituency.
Bowing to her pressure, TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao agreed to field her from Medak instead of Mahbubnagar. Rao himself will contest from the Mahbubnagar Lok Sabha constituency.

KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, had earlier announced Vijayshanti’s name for Mahbubnagar while he was to contest from Medak. But she was reluctant and had reportedly threatened to quit the party.

The actress, who earned the nickname “Lady Amitabh” for her action roles, was reluctant as Mahbubnagar is not considered to be a TRS stronghold while the party had won Medak seat in 2004 elections.

KCR tried in vain to convince Vijayshanti to accept the party ticket from Mahbubnagar and assured her that the party could win the seat as it is fighting the elections in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

The TRS chief was himself looking for a safe seat after he narrowly escaped the defeat in last year’s by-election in Karimnagar constituency.

KCR was elected from Karimnagar in 2004 elections and retained the seat with thumping majority in the 2006 by-election. However, his popularity diminished as he was seen repeatedly imposing by-elections on the electorate.

He has named sitting Hanamkonda parliamentarian Vinod Kumar as the party candidate from Karimnagar.

Vijayshanti, who had no major success in politics, had merged her Talli Telangana Party with the TRS in January and was made party general secretary by Chandrasekhara Rao.

The 45-year-old actress, whose film career spans over three decades, had joined the BJP in 1997.

In 1999 elections, the BJP had named her as its candidate from the Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency following reports that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was planning to contest from there. The actress withdrew her candidature after Sonia Gandhi decided to contest from Bellary in Karnataka.

Vijayshanti, who was the national general secretary of the BJP’s women wing, quit the party in 2005 to float a separate outfit to fight for separate statehood to Telangana region.

The TRS candidates for six other Lok Sabha seats are: Syed Yousuf Ali (Zaheerabad), G. Srinivas (Peddapalli), G. Balaraju (Nagarkurnool), S. Venkat Reddy (Secunderabad), Parmeshwar Madiga (Warangal) and B. Ganesh Gupta (Nizamabad).

The TRS, which is a constituent of TDP-led four-party alliance, is contesting nine Lok Sabha and 45 assembly seats in the state.

In 2004 elections, the party had bagged five Lok Sabha and 26 assembly seats. While the party expelled one MP, it lost two Lok Sabha seats in the last year’s by-elections.

The party also lost seven of 16 assembly constituencies which went to by-polls last year. Ten party legislators revolted against KCR’s leadership.

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