The ruling YSR Congress in Andhra Pradesh has allotted one Rajya Sabha seat out of four falling vacant from the state to Parimal Nathwani who is due to retire as RS member from Jharkhand on April 9 as an Independent.
The YSRC also on Monday formally announced its three other candidates for as many seats that it could win in the biennial elections on March 26.
Deputy Chief Minister Pilli Subhash Chandra Bose, Minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana and realtor Alla Ayodhya Rami Reddy will be the YSRC candidates for the Rajya Sabha election, party senior leader Ummareddy Venkateswarlu said.
Nathwani thanked Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his party for considering him as their Rajya Sabha candidate from Andhra Pradesh. “I am committed to serve the people of AP,” Nathwani said in a tweet after Ummareddy Venkateswarlu announced his name for the RS seat.
On February 29, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani met Chief Minister Jagan at the latters residence here. He was accompanied by his son Ananth Ambani and Nathwani, who is senior group president RIL.
Nathwani’s presence gave rise to speculation that the closed door meeting could have been more political in nature. There was no word from the YSRC on this after the meeting while a release from the CMO said the Chief Minister discussed with Ambani, Reliances partnership in the state governments schemes in the education and health sectors.
The party on Monday, however, denied that Nathwani was given the Rajya Sabha seat at the behest of the BJP. “BJP has nothing to do with this….” Ummareddy said. As the YSRC government decided to abolish the state Legislative Council, the party gave two Rajya Sabha seats to Bose and Ramana as they have been with Jagan since the party’s inception, sources said.
Ramana was arrested along with Jagan in 2012 in the quid pro quo deals cases and later released on bail. Bose and Ramana would have lost their Cabinet berths once the Council was abolished. Four of 11 seats in the Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh fall vacant on April 9 as sitting members retire at the end of the six-year term.
As it has 151 members of its own and support of three “rebel” legislators of TDP and Jana Sena, the YSRC is comfortably placed to win all four, according to sources. With this, the YSRCs strength in Rajya Sabha will rise to six from two at present. Last date for filing of nominations is March 23 and polling, if required, will be held on March 26.