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Congress finalises 115 Assembly, 5 LS candidates for Andhra

Amaravati : The Congress has finalised candidates for 115 Assembly and five Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh.

The names were finalised during the meeting of the Central Election Committee of the party held in Delhi on Monday.

Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Y. S. Sharmila Reddy, who attended the meeting, said the list is likely to be released on Tuesday. She said the candidates for the remaining seats will be announced in a week.

Simultaneous elections to the 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are scheduled on May 13.

Sharmila, who is the sister of Chief Minister and YSR Congress President (YSRCP) president Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, is likely to be fielded from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency, where Jagan Mohan Reddy has once again fielded his cousin and sitting MP Y. S. Avinash Reddy.

Congress Working Committee (CWC) special invitee Gidugu Rudraraju is likely to contest from Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency. Former central ministers Pallam Raju and J. D. Seelam are likely to get party tickets for Kakinada and Bapatla Lok Sabha seats respectively.

The Congress party drew a blank in the Assembly and Lok Sabha elections in the state in 2014 and 2019 due to public anger over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

In a move to revive the party’s prospects, the Congress leadership appointed Sharmila as the president of the party’s state unit in January this year.

Meanwhile, Sharmila demanded the YSRCP government to immediately start disbursal of social security pensions among beneficiaries. She alleged that there is a conspiracy to delay the payment of pensions.

She told media persons in Delhi that the Election Commission has ordered that the pensions be disbursed through government machinery and not through volunteers. The government is deliberately not disbursing pensions so that the delay damages the prospects of the opposition parties and helps the ruling party, she said.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has been targeting opposition parties for what he called stalling disbursal of pensions.

The APCC Chief said she met the Chief Secretary on the issue. He stated that disbursement will begin on April 3 and it will take a week to complete the process. “The beneficiaries will have to wait for 10 days. I want to ask the Chief Secretary if this delay was not to help the ruling party,” she said.

She said when the Election Commission allowed pension payment through DBT, why was this delay taking place? Digital payments can be made in one day, she said and demanded immediate payment of pensions through DBT. If this is not done the Congress will stage protests everywhere, she added.

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