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Subbarami Reddy, Keshava Rao elected to Rajya Sabha from Andhra

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T. Subbarami Reddy, K. V. P. Ramachandra Rao and K. Keshava Rao are among six leaders elected to from in the elections held Friday.

Subbarami Reddy, Ramachandra Rao and M.A. Khan of the Congress, T. Sitarama Lakshmi and G. Mohan Rao of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Keshava Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) were elected to the house of elders.

Subbarami Reddy, a former central minister, was elected for the third term in a row while Ramachandra Rao, a close aide of former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and Khan were nominated for the second consecutive term.

TDP's candidates have made it to the Rajya Sabha for the first time. Lakshmi is president of TDP's West Godavari district unit while Mohan Rao hails from Warangal district in Telangana region.

Keshava Rao was earlier a member of Rajya Sabha from Congress, which he quit to join TRS last year.

Out of 276 legislators eligible to exercise their franchise, 248 cast their votes. According to the poll results announced Friday night, Khan polled maximum first preference votes. Congress rebel A. Prabhakar Reddy drew a blank.

Though Prabhakar Reddy Thursday announced that he was withdrawing from the contest, the Election Commission went ahead with the elections as he did not withdraw before the deadline for taking back the nominations.

Prabhakar Reddy himself told reporters that he voted for Subbarami Reddy.

Khan polled 49 votes while Subbarami Reddy and Ramachandra Rao got 46 each. TDP nominees bagged 38 votes each while Keshava Rao got 26 first preference votes.

A legislator of the ruling party availed None Of The Above (NOTA) option, introduced for the first time in the history of Rajya Sabha elections while another lawmaker dropped a blank ballot paper in the ballot box.

Assembly Speaker N. Manohar, Chief Minister N. and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu were among the first to cast their votes.

YSR Congress party's 23 legislators, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) four members and the lone lawmaker of the Communist Party of India-Marxist stayed away from the voting.

The Telangana issue overshadowed the polls with the Congress legislators from Telangana voting for the candidates from the region. They said they would cast their first preference vote to party candidate Khan and the second preference vote to Keshava Rao.

The TRS general secretary was also backed by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and Communist Party of India (CPI).

Out of the six seats which fell vacant, five were held by Congress and one by the TDP.

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