Hyderabad: If the efforts by the Telugu Desam and YSRC leaders fructify, former Union minister and Congress MP K. Chiranjeevi may well be re-nominated to the Rajya Sabha in the biennial polls scheduled in March, 2018 from AP.
Mr Chiranjeevi, who had floated the Praja Rajyam only to merge it with the Congress, was elected to the Rajya Sabha from the Congress. His term will come to an end by March next year.
There is no chance of Mr Chiranjeevi becoming an MP again from the Congress since the party has no representation in the AP Assembly. However, the actor-turned-politician enjoys some clout among some sections of society, especially among Kapus. The Kapu factor will be one of the decisive issues in the 2019 general elections.
This has forced some of the leaders of the now defunct Praja Rajyam, who have now joined either the TD or the YSR Congress, to make efforts to convince Mr Chiranjeevi to join their parties and get re nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
AP education minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who was elected on a Praja Rajyam ticket and became a minister in the Congress regime after the merger, has already made some efforts to rope Mr Chiranjeevi into the TD fold.
Sources said Mr Chiranjeevi was initially disinclined to shift political loyalties just to become an MP.
However, Mr Srinivasa Rao remains confident that his efforts will bear fruit. He said, “There is still time to convince him.”
Kamineni Srinivas, family friend and another Praja Rajyam former leader, joined the BJP and is now the Health minister of AP. He is believed to have advised Mr Chiranjeevi to mull over the offer.
While TD leaders are making their efforts, leaders of the main Opposition YSR Congress too are said to have requested Mr Chiranjeevi to join their party.
Former MLA from Praja Rajyam and now East Godavari district YSRC president K. Kannababu has already suggested to party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to invite Mr Chiranjeevi into the party and nominate him for the Rajya Sabha seat.
Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy has reportedly asked Mr Kannababu to speak to Mr Chiranjeevi first to know his stand. However, when contacted, Mr Kannababu denied any such efforts by him and termed the reports as “speculation”.