Andhra Pradesh

Race for TDP ticket hots up in the fort town

It is a tightrope walk for the TDP with many lining up to contest from Vizianagaram Assembly seat.

It is a tightrope walk for the TDP with many lining up to contest from Vizianagaram Assembly seat.   | Photo Credit: arrangedbyK_SRINIVASARAO

Presence of a strong BC community a factor to reckon with

Fort town Vizianagaram has turned into a political battle ground for the TDP with too many aspirants vying for the Assembly ticket for the former princely state. There were nearly no aspirants for the Assembly ticket between 1983 and 2014 as Ashok Gajapathi Raju continued to be its lone nominee.

Before joining the TDP, he won the seat between 1978 and 1983 on the Janata Party ticket. However, the situation changed in 2014 with the TDP fielding him for the Parliament seat and fielded Meesala Geeta as MLA candidate. Both won.

Ms. Geeta is facing a tough challenge from many aspirants including Mr. Raju’s daughter Aditi Gajapathi Raju. Municipal chairman Prasadula Ramakrishna, his wife Kanakamahalakshmi, senior councillor Kandi Murali Naidu, TDP town president and senior physician VS Prasad, Vizianagaram Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha chairman B.S.S.V Narasinga Rao and others are also in the fray. Party supremo Chandrababu Naidu, who held a series of meetings with leaders, could not finalise the name.

Sources say the leadership is considering fielding Mr. Raju for the Assembly so that there would not be any objection from anyone including Ms. Geeta.

“Selection of MP candidate will be a tough task if Mr. Raju is given the Assembly ticket. Instead of inviting trouble, the party may ask him to contest for Parliament again while fielding Ms. Aditi Raju for the Assembly. All the leaders may work in tandem if the ticket is given to the Pusapati family,” said a senior leader.

Some leaders say allocation of two seats to the Raju family would send wrong signals to the strong BC community in the district headquarters.

“The leadership is giving tickets to sitting MLAs in majority seats and may opt for Ms. Geeta if it feels that Ms. Aditi needs to have more political experience to take on YSRCP leader Kolagatla Veerabhadra Swamy whose candidature was declared long ago,” said another leader.

Asked about the competition, Ms. Geeta said Vizianagaram was a safe seat for the party with unprecedented development that had taken place in the last five years.

“Healthy competition is always there in the TDP. But I left everything to Mr. Naidu and Mr. Raju. Their decision is final,” she told The Hindu.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 2:51:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/race-for-tdp-ticket-hots-up-in-the-fort-town/article26489512.ece

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