Many party leaders unwilling to ‘sacrifice’ seats if tie-up becomes reality

The ongoing talks of a tie-up with the Bharatiya Janata Party could cause some embarrassment to the main Opposition Telugu Desam as several party leaders are refusing to concede Lok Sabha seats which they are aspiring for.

The proposed entry of veteran politicians like Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao has only complicated the situation as some senior leaders in West Godavari and Guntur districts fear their entry could throw the prospects of serious aspirants into disarray. The TDP is likely to face a tough time in selection of candidates for Narsaraopet, Eluru, Kurnool and Bapatla Lok Sabha seats, among others, while the party had, by and large, succeeded in convincing the party leaders to cooperate with former Union Minister D. Purandeswari, who is likely to be fielded from Vijayawada by the BJP.

The talk of Mr. Rayapati being fielded from Narsaraopet Lok Sabha seat has apparently upset incumbent M. Venugopal Reddy who is unwilling to ‘sacrifice’ the constituency that he nursed for the last five years. Mr. Reddy made his intentions clear during a recent meeting of the party workers in Guntur that he was in no mood to vacate the seat for Mr. Rayapati.

The proposed entry of Mr. Kavuri into the TDP complicated the situation in the Eluru Lok Sabha seat, a constituency which the former Minister Maganti Babu had been aspiring for long. Even as Mr. Kavuri is yet to make up his mind, Mr. Babu told the party workers that the doors were not open for the entry of the former Union Minister. Mr. Kavuri’s entry, Mr. Babu reportedly told the leadership, would not only impact the TDP’s prospects in the Eluru Lok Sabha, but would have negative implications on all the other Assembly segments too.

The TDP is facing a different predicament in the Kurnool Lok Sabha seat where TDP loyalists, KE brothers (Krishnamurthy and Prabhakar), are insisting that they be given the ticket. “This is one constituency where the Boya community can be a deciding factor. Selection of candidate from the community could antagonise the KE brothers whose support is crucial for the party in Kurnool district,” a senior leader said.

The TDP is also facing a tough time in selection of candidate for the Mahabubabad Lok Sabha (ST) constituency owing to presence of Lambadas and other tribal groups. While a section of leaders is in favour of nominating a leader from the Lambadas, as it is a predominant community, another section is insisting on giving an opportunity to candidate from other tribal communities as the constituency is spread over the neighbouring Khammam district too.