HYDERABAD: BRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Tuesday announced poet-singer Deshapathi Srinivas, Challa Venkatrami Reddy, grandson of former president Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, and K. Naveen Kumar as the party’s candidates’ in the upcoming elections for the Legislative Council from the MLA quota.

While the CM retained Naveen Kumar, whose tenure as MLC is set to end on March 29, he nominated two new faces.

Srinivas is a poet-singer and serving as officer on special duty (OSD) in the Chief Minister’s Office since 2014, while Venktrami Reddy is a former independent MLA from Alampur in undivided Mahbubnagar district from 2004 to 2009 who supported the Congress government. He joined the BRS in December last.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) issued notification for the MLC elections to the three seats under the MLAs’ quota on Monday. These three seats will fall vacant on March 29 with the retirement of the BRS MLCs Alimineti Krishna Reddy, Vullolla Gangadhar Goud and Kurumaiahgari Naveen Kumar.

Two more MLC seats will fall vacant under the Governor’s quota on May 27 with the retirement of BRS MLCs D. Rajeshwar Rao and Farooq Hussain. The CM will announce the names of the two nominated MLC candidates under Governor’s quota after the approval in the cabinet meeting held on March 9.

As per the EC schedule, the last date for nominations under MLAs’ quota is March 13, the scrutiny on March 14 and the last date for withdrawal is on March 16. Polling will be held on March 23. Only MLAs are eligible to vote in this election.

Since the BRS enjoys absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly with a strength of 104 MLAs in the 119-member House, there is no scope for other parties even to contest the election and hence there will be no polling on March 16.

While the AIMIM has a strength of seven MLAs, Congress has five and BJP has three MLAs. With this, the three BRS candidates will be declared elected unopposed soon after the scrutiny of nominations on March 14.

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