Telangana Polls: Reddys get lion’s share of BRS tickets

Hyderabad: The Reddy community has got a lion’s share of tickets from the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) for the forthcoming Telangana Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

In the list of 115 candidates announced by the BRS on Monday, there are 39 candidates from the Reddy community.

With the BRS denying tickets to only eight sitting MLAs, there is not a big change from the number of tickets allotted to various social groups in the 2018 elections.

The BRS has given tickets to 23 candidates from Backward Classes (BCs). There are 12 candidates from Velamas, a community to which party President and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao belongs. Six Kammas have also been allotted party tickets.

There are 19 candidates from Scheduled Castes (STs), 11 from Scheduled Tribes (STs), and three from minorities. There is one candidate each from Vysa and Brahmin communities.

The BRS will announce the candidates for the remaining four seats later.

Political analysts say that BRS has once again given the highest number of tickets to Reddys, a socially and politically powerful community. KCR apparently did not want to disturb the balance in distribution of tickets, especially in view of the attempts by the Congress to consolidate Reddy votes in its favour.

Reddys are reported to have moved away from BRS due to some of the decisions taken by the KCR-led government. Implementation of the Dalit Bandhu scheme is one such decision.

Unlike in Andhra Pradesh, caste is not a major factor in elections in Telangana. However, Reddys have traditionally dominated the political scene in the state.

Analysts say that after floating the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in early 1980s, N.T. Rama Rao had politically empowered BCs in Telangana.

The BRS has given tickets to only seven women. This despite the party leaders fighting for 33 per cent reservation for women. When asked about this at the press conference, KCR tried to defend the decision by saying that this is all the party could have done in the present circumstances.

KCR said he believes that only when there is reservation for women in legislative bodies, there will be compulsion for all parties to field women candidates.

Meanwhile, Both the Congress and the BJP slammed the BRS for giving only 3 per cent tickets to women.

State BJP spokesperson Rani Rudramma called KCR ‘anti-woman’.

She asked why KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha, who staged a protest in Delhi for women’s reservation, did not protest at the BRS office.