The Congress Party may not contest the by-elections for Banswada assembly seat scheduled to be held on October 13.
According to sources, Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana is of the view that the party should boycott the Banswada by-polls to avoid further criticism by the pro-Telangana activists. In the last by-elections held after the resignation of TRS MLAs, the party faced a humliating defeat in all the constituencies. Apprehending a similar fate, many Congress leaders including the PCC President wants to avoid the by-polls.
The Banswada assembly seat fell vacant after Telugu Desam Party MLA Pocharam Srinivas Reddy quit the party and post to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi. Now he will be re-contesting from the seat as TRS nominee. With the Telangana sentiments running high, it is more likely that he would be re-elected. Therefore, leaders of other parties including Congress and TDP have been talking about boycotting the by-polls.
However, the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy wants to field a candidate. Since this would be the first election after assuming charge as the Chief Minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy wants to put a brave face by participating in the by-polls. But the PCC President is adamant that the party should avoid any confrontation with pro-Telangana sentiments. He has decided to take up the matter with the High Command during his three-day visit to the national capital starting from September 13.
During his visit, Botsa is likely to discuss the on-going Telangana agitation and the general strike. He will also appraise the High Command about the strategy to deal with 26 Congress MLAs who have switched loyalties to YSR Congress Party. Sources say that Botsa will also discuss about the cabinet expansion including the issue of inclusion of PRP MLAs into State Cabinet. The PCC President is likely to finalise the list of candidates to be accommodated on the nominated posts, both in party and government.