Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy finalized the names of Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, minority leader Mohammed Iqbal and senior leader Challa Ramakrishna Reddy for the upcoming MLC by-elections, on Monday.

The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) officially announced their candidates for the by-election to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council to fill as many seats under the assembly quota in the poll, slated for August 26.

The YSRCP nominated minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, former IPS officer Sheik Mohammad Iqbal and former MLA Challa Ramakrishna Reddy as its candidates for the MLC by-election.

Given its strength of 151 MLAs, the YSRCP could bag all three seats as the opposition Telugu Desam Party, with just 23 members, is staying away from the contest as they stand no chance of winning at least one.

The last day for filing nominations is August 14. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is August 19 and the date for polling, is August 26.

Mopidevi Venkata Ramana was inducted into the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy cabinet on June 8 despite losing the Assembly election from Repalle. He has now been nominated to the Council to fulfill the constitutional obligation.

Sheik Mohammad Iqbal l, too, unsuccessfully contested the assembly election from Hindupur but YS Jagan kept his word and nominated the former to the Upper House of the state Legislature.

Challa Ramakrishna Reddy was a three-time MLA and sailed with the TDP after 2014. He joined the YSRC days before the recent general elections. Both Iqbal and Reddy hail from Kurnool district.

The three Council seats fell vacant as the incumbents Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas, Karanam Balarama Krishna Murthy and Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy resigned from their posts upon their election to the assembly.

While the tenure of two of these three seats is till March 29, 2023, one seat is up to March 29, 2021. In effect, the YSRCP will bag one extra seat in the 58-member Council through this by-election and its tally will go up to nine.

All three vacancies in the council are under MLA quota and by looking at the current strength of the YSRCP and lack of numbers in the TDP , it is evident that the three MLCs would be elected unanimously.

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