According to party sources, the former MP, who filed his nomination on Monday, conveyed to the party leadership that he will not be able to contest the by-election in the present situation. Sarika and her three children Abhinav (7), Ayan (3) and Sriyan (3) were charred to death in the fire in Rajaiah's house in Warangal town today.

Police are investigating the cause of the fire. Since today is the last day for filing of nomination for the by-poll, Congress began frantic efforts to find a candidate. Congress party's Telangana unit president Uttam Kumar Reddy rushed to Warangal for talks with local leaders.

The party is likely to field former central minister Sarve Satyanarayana or former state minister Vijayarama Rao. The by-election to Warangal constituency, reserved for scheduled castes, was necessitated by the resignation of Telangana Rashtra Samithi's Kadiam Srihari after he was made deputy chief minister of the state. Rajaiah, who was elected from Warangal in 2009, lost to Srihari in 2014 elections.

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