Telangana health director’s hopes to get BRS ticket dashed

He said that if Chief Minister KCR asks him to contest for MLA from the Kothagudem constituency, he would follow his direction.

Hyderabad: Telangana’s director of public health and family welfare Dr G Srinivasa Rao’s hopes of contesting polls were dashed as Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ignored him in allotment of tickets for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Srinivasa Rao was keen to contest the Assembly election from the Kothagudem constituency in Bhadradri Kothagudem district and had even started interacting with people.

KCR, however, decided to give the ticket to sitting MLA Vanama Venkateswara Rao from the constituency.

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Venkateswara Rao’s name was figured in the list of 115 candidates announced by the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) on Monday.

Venkateswara Rao was elected from Kothagudem in 2018 on a Congress party ticket. Later, he switched loyalties to the BRS.

KCR, who has dropped only a few sitting MLAs, picked Venkateswara Rao as the BR’s candidate for the elections, slated to be held towards the end of this year.

Interestingly, a few hours before KCR announced the list of candidates, Srinivasa Rao had denied reports that health minister Harish Rao took him to task for making political comments in Kothagudem.

The official clarified that he was in Kothagudem on Sunday to participate in a programme organised by GSR Trust. As part of this programme, he went door to door to interact with people.

Srinivasa Rao had landed in controversy by publicly speaking about his political ambitions. Congress party leaders had urged Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan to remove him from the position.

The director of public health had stated in June that he was trying his best to serve the people of Kothagudem. He said that if Chief Minister KCR asks him to contest for MLA from the Kothagudem constituency, he would follow his direction.

In November last year, Srinivasa Rao triggered a row by touching the feet of KCR. He later defended his action, saying he will do this 100 times.

The official stated that KCR is like his father who is leading Telangana on the path of progress and that it is his good fortune that he got an opportunity to touch his feet.

On November 15, the topmost official of the health department was seen touching the chief minister’s feet not once but twice during an event at the latter’s official residence.

The official’s action drew flak from various quarters. Opposition parties called it an act of sycophancy.

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