In a surprise move that reflected their lack of confidence to take on major parties, CPI (M) and CPI have pulled out of contest for the Vijayawada Lok Sabha seat.

Their candidates -- V. Umamaheswara Rao (CPI-M) and Suryadevara Nageswara Rao (CPI) -- withdrew nominations on Wednesday leaving the biggies – Kesineni Srinivas (TDP), Koneru Rajendra Prasad (YSRC) and Devineni Avinash (Congress) -- to slug it out for the prestigious seat.

The CPI (M) had last fielded its candidate Nanduri Prasada Rao in 1977 and the CPI in 1999 when Kolli Nageswara Rao was its nominee.

The CPI (M) candidate opted out of the race due to the electoral understanding his party entered with Jai Samaikyandhra Party (JSP) and CPI district secretary A. Vanaja said the party was not keen to contest.

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