Cong confident of sailing through Council polls in AP

Hyderabad, Feb 24 (PTI) In the backdrop of pro-Telanganaagitation and the Jagan factor, the ensuing elections to 10Legislative Council seats in Andhra Pradesh, could be a freshchallenge for ruling Congress in the state, but the partyleadership has expressed confidence that it will sail throughit without trouble.

As per the notification issued by the Election Commissionrecently, the elections will be held on March 19. The MLCs areto be elected by the MLAs.

The 20-odd MLAs supporting Jagan and the party MLAs fromTelangana are a cause for concern for the Congress leadershipas they are a dissatisfied lot.

Out of the 10 MLCs retiring next month, five are fromCongress, two belong to the TDP and one each is from CPI andMIM besides an independent.

The problem for the ruling party stems from the fact thatexcept a directive, no whip can be issued to the MLAs on whomto vote for.

Meanwhile, PRP may seek a share in the wake of theparty''s decision to merge with Congress. MIM, which hasa friendly relation with Congress, too might ask forre-nominating its MLC whose term is coming to an end nextmonth.

State Congress spokesperson N Tulasi Reddy, however,expressed confidence that the party would have no problem inthe polls.

"Their (MLAs loyal to Jagan) number is small. After all,they won on Congress ticket. I don''t think they will violateparty directive in the poll. I don''t think we may have uch ofa problem," he told PTI.

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