Hyderabad, The biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha has come as a test of loyalty for Congress leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh.
On the last day of nominations Tuesday, eight candidates, including two Congress rebels, filed their papers for the six seats on offer, while two rebels jumped into the fray on a "united Andhra Pradesh" plank, challenging the Congress high command.
Congress' official nominees T Subbarami Reddy, KVP Ramachandra Rao and M A Khan, who have been renominated by the party, filed their papers, while Telugu Desam's Garikapati Mohan Rao and Sitarama Lakshmi also submitted their nominations to legislature secretary S Raja Sadaram.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy CM Damodara Rajanarasimha, Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana and some other ministers accompanied the Congress nominees.
Former MP K Keshava Rao, who defected from the Congress, filed his papers as the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) candidate for the biennial election slated for February 7.
Congress MLC KV Satyanarayana Raju alias Chaitanya Raju and MLA Adala Prabhakar Reddy also filed their papers as party rebels.
However, it was being speculated in assembly lobbies today that the rebels might withdraw from the contest at the last minute, making the election unanimous.
For Congress leaders from Seemandhra, who have been seething over the high command's decision to bifurcate the state, the Rajya Sabha elections is expected to be a test of their loyalty- between the party and the united AP cause.