Chiranjeevi all set to make it to Rajya Sabha

Hyderabad: `Megastar` Chiranjeevi is likely get elevated soon – from a member of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly to the Rajya Sabha.

His candidature is almost certain for one of the four seats that the ruling Congress can win in the biennial elections to the Upper House of Parliament from the state, slated for March 30.

The Congress, as part of his Praja Rajyam Party`s merger deal last year, promised to induct Chiranjeevi into the Union Cabinet by nominating him to Rajya Sabha. In all, six seats will fall vacant in April with the retirement of four Congress members and one each of CPI and TDP.

Going by the current strength in the Assembly, the Congress can win four and the TDP two seats. There is intense competition in the Congress for the other three seats with some heavyweights lobbying hard for a chance.

Former Union Minister of State Dasari Narayana Rao, who is among the four retiring members, is seeking re-election though he hasn`t openly expressed it so far.

Another former Union Minister Renuka Chowdary, currently an official spokesperson of Congress, is using her clout in New Delhi to make it to Rajya Sabha while Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to be pushing the case of industrialist G V Krishna Reddy, head of GVK group.

Telangana protagonist K Keshava Rao, who too will retire in April, is desperately trying for a second term. He has been aintaining a tacit silence, of late, on the statehood issue to remain in the good books of the party high command. But, even the known Telangana supporters in the party as well as the Chief Minister are said to be opposing Keshava Rao`s re-nomination.

KK, as he is called, met the Chief Minister two days ago to plead with the latter to not spoil his chances. UP leader Rashid Alvi, who made it to the RS from AP in 2006, is banking on his connections with the high command for re-nomination while INTUC head G Sanjeeva Reddy is also vying for an extended stint.

Former state minister Md Ali Shabbir is hoping to secure a berth under the minority quota but Alvi may mar his chance, Congress leaders here feel.

"Since Chiranjeevi`s nomination is certain, Dasari may not stand a chance as both belong to the same community. If GVK gets the nod, Sanjeeva Reddy will have to be left out and if Renuka succeeds in impressing the high command, KK will lose," a top PCC leader said.

As Renuka too belongs to Telangana region, her nomination should not affect the regional balance, the leader noted.

In the TDP, retiring member M V Mysura Reddy hopes to get a second chance even as there are other top contenders like former Union Minister K Yerran Naidu, former state ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu and T Devender Goud along with a host of others for the two seats the party can secure.

The TDP may nominate one candidate each from Andhra-Rayalaseema and Telangana regions to strike a balance, party sources say. In the event, Devender Goud stands a better chance over the others while Mysura`s re-nomination looks probable, the sources add.