Velampalli Srinivasa Rao and Kamineni Srinivasa Rao are newcomers to the party

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally got the Vijayawada West and Kaikalur Assembly constituencies in its kitty as part of the seat-sharing deal struck with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and incidentally both the party nominees for these segments - Velampalli Srinivasa Rao and Kamineni Srinivasa Rao - are the newcomers to the party.

With this, the TDP is out of the contention, having conceded the two segments to its partner BJP in lieu of the Vijayawada Central constituency. There was a bitter fight for the Vijayawada Central constituency but the TDP managed to persuade the BJP which agreed to give up its claim over the Vijayawada Central.

The BJP nominees for the Vijayawada West and Kaikalur Assembly segments were from the erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). Mr. Velampalli Srinivasa Rao emerged winner over Mallika Begum of the Congress from the Vijayawada West segment in 2009 polls whereas Mr. Kamineni had lost the poll by barely 300 votes in Kaikalur to TDP’s Jayamangalam Venkataramana.

Mr. Velampalli Srinivasa Rao joined the BJP just a day after the Congress re-nominated him for the Vijayawada West Assembly constituency and succeeded in getting the saffron party’s ticket. Speculation was rife that he would join the TDP and even the YSR Congress, but shifting loyalty to the BJP surprised many.

Mr. Kamineni was elected as MLC on the TDP ticket but was never given a chance by that party to contest from his constituency (Kaikalur). YSR Congress’ Jaleel Khan and Uppala Ram Prasad are seen as the strong opponents of the BJP in the Vijayawada West and Kaikalur constituency respectively.

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