Staff Reporter

Fields a member of the Gouda community that is present in significant numbers in the LS constituency

Indications are that PRP too is on lookout for BC candidate for LS seat

Chiranjeevi’s roadshow peps up the morale of party cadre here

VIJAYAWADA: The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has fielded Backward Classes candidate Konakalla Narayana from the Machilipatnam Lok Sabha constituency in a bid to give a tough fight to industrialist and Congress nominee Badiga Ramakrishna.

Mr. Narayana hails from the Gouda community, which is present in significant numbers in most of the Assembly segments in the constituency. TDP leaders say Gouds are in considerable number especially in Pedana and Pamarru (SC) segments.

The TDP chose Mr. Narayana over Merugumala Sambasiva Rao, another strong contender for the party ticket and a Yadava by community, mainly because of the large presence of Gouds in the constituency. But, in a bid to win the support of Yadavas, the TDP is actively considering fielding Mr. Sambasiva Rao from Nuzvid Assembly constituency, which comes under Eluru LS constituency.

Caste equations

There was intense speculation initially that the TDP would choose Mr. Sambasiva Rao, popularly known as MSR, but the party changed tack at the last minute and favoured Mr. Narayana’s candidature in view of caste equations.

The party leadership also announced the name of veteran leader Ambati Brahmanaiah for Avanigadda, where he will take on Minister Mandali Buddha Prasad, and district general secretary Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, who is in search of a constituency after Nandigama was reserved for SCs, for Mylavaram.

Mr. Umamaheswara Rao’s name earlier figured in discussions for Nuzvid. With his seat having been finalised and announced, the party is expected to announce MSR’s candidature for Nuzvid any moment.

A big supporter of Mr. Narayana’s candidature from Machilipatnam LS seat has been senior TDP leader Kagita Venkata Rao, a prominent name in the Gouda community in State politics. Mr. Venkata Rao himself is contesting from Pedana. At a time when senior Gouda leader T. Devender Goud left the party, the TDP went a step further to get maximum support of this community by giving an MLA and an MP ticket.

The TDP cadres are confident of their candidate winning the seat in view of the likely split of Kapu vote in the Congress vote bank in the area. After the recent roadshow of Chiranjeevi in the area, the Praja Rajyam leaders are expecting a good showing even for their MP nominee, who has not been named as yet. Indications are that the PRP is on the look-out for a BC candidate to be fielded from the Machilipatnam LS seat.