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Updated: January 17, 2014 03:26 IST

TDP plans to nominate Balaiah baffles his supporters

Special Correspondent
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N. Balakrishna
The Hindu N. Balakrishna

On several occasions, the actor had expressed his desire to become an MLA

Film actor Nandamuri Balakrishna’s supporters are baffled by the way his name has suddenly cropped up in the list of Telugu Desam probables for the two Rajya Sabha seats that the party could win going by its strength in the Assembly.

They are surprised because Mr. Balakrishna never showed any interest for Rajya Sabha membership and always preferred to become MLA.

He had made his choice public several times during the last few months and the expectation was that he could contest from an Assembly constituency either in Krishna district or Anantapur district.

On the face of it, Mr. Balakrishna’s name appears to be a natural corollary, as the vacancy has arisen from the resignation by his brother Harikrishna while espousing the cause of Samaikyandhra.

But many in the party believe that the leadership is consciously promoting his name with a definite two birds in one shot strategy. By sending him to Rajya Sabha, the party could always claim that the seat remained with the family of the party’s founder, N.T. Rama Rao. Secondly, by denying him Assembly seat, the leadership wants to ensure that there is no parallel power centre. Two other versions are doing rounds--it could be just to test waters and see how the cadre reacts besides reducing the pressure on the leadership for the ticket.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu is expected to have a detailed discussion with his MLAs before shortlisting the names.

As far as Telangana region goes, the choice appears to be between senior MLA, Motkupalli Narasimhulu and Garikapati Mohan Rao, the man behind who took care of logistics involved in “padayatra” and “bus yatra” taken up by Mr. Naidu. Some of the senior leaders of the region like Thummala Nageswara Rao and Mandava Venkateswara Rao are believed to be lobbying for Mr. Mohan Rao.

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