A dry port and a tourism plaza in Kodad town, is what Jalagam Sudheer Kumar, a US-returned native of Kodad wants to see happen first, if he gets a Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) ticket and wins the election. And for Shanampudi Saidireddy, who returned from Canada, ensuring youth in workforce and development of farmers and women is the priority in his local Huzurnagar.

Once expatriates who spread the cause of Telangana abroad, their running for the State Assembly election now is still a hope, as tickets to Kodad and Huzurnagar are yet to be declared. With competition from within and outside the party whether they would be offered MLA tickets would be clear soon. According to them, their spadework reveals that the constituencies, now held by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and his wife N. Padmavathi Reddy, are actually ‘TRS-positive’.

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“Through my Ankireddy Foundation, I have reached out to youth to improve their skills and showed job avenues. Of the nearly 44,000 youth below the age of 29 here, 90% want me to represent Huzurnagar. Farmers and the aggrieved say I am more accessible,” Mr. Shanampudi claims.

The duo also show online endorsement, by mail and WhatsApp, from Non-Resident Indians delivered directly to IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao.

“It is important I pay attention to things in Telangana. I know Sudheer for the past two decades, he can keep people together. I endorse him,” writes one Jitendra from Telangana Association of South Africa.

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“Glory back to Kodad”, “Not only cement industries in Huzurnagar, youth skills road to development,” others wrote. Asked if they would leave TRS if denied tickets, they said: “We are not above the party, our good work will continue.”

In addition to the Congress, Shanampudi fights Kasoju Shankaramma of the TRS, 2014 runner up who threatened to commit suicide if not offered a party ticket. She is the mother of Kasoju Srikantha Chary, a Telangana martyr.

For Jalagam, 78-year-old Venepalli Chander Rao — the four-time MLA from Telugu Desam Party — and now in TRS since 2014, another Kanmantha Reddy Shashidhar Reddy are rivals within. And TRS’ Nalgonda MP Gutha Sukender Reddy contesting either from Kodad or Huzurnagar would only dim their hopes. #KhabarLive