Andhra Pradesh

TDP scoffs at rumours of Panabaka joining YSRCP

Former Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi, who had contested in vain on behalf of the TDP in the 2019 general elections for the Tirupati Lok Sabha seat, is jumping into the fray again for the ensuing by-election to the constituency.

An announcement to this effect by party spokesperson and noted psychologist N.B. Sudhakar Reddy puts the record straight over the rumour mill spreading feelers over the likelihood of her joining the ruling YSRCP.

The ruing party’s Rajya Sabha member V. Vijay Sai Reddy’s tweet that the TDP could not even find a candidate for the seat added strength to the rumours, which later turned out to be untrue.

Miffed at the YSRC campaign, Dr. Sudhakar Reddy told The Hindu on Wednesday that Ms. Lakshmi would launch her campaign on Saturday after offering prayers at the temple of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala.

She would also take out her maiden rally in the temple city, accompanied by the party’s State president K. Atchannaidu.

“The mischievous campaign by the ruling party’s mouthpiece and social media wing is baseless. The party appears to be scared of facing the election, and hence is trying to besmirch the rival candidates,” Dr. Reddy said, and brushed aside the rumour that she was contemplating joining either the BJP or the YSRCP.

‘Will repeat 2014 feat’

The TDP is confident that it would be a repeat of the 2014 general elections, when it romped home with ease. The party had won four of the seven Assembly segments coming under the Tirupati LS constituency and secured a huge margin of 43,000 votes.

However, as the Lok Sabha seat was given away to its alliance partner, the BJP, its candidate lost by 37000 votes.

In 2019, Ms. Lakshmi was among most of the candidates who had lost because of the “Jagan wave,” which the TDP feels is non-existent today.

“Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy cannot face the people, having failed on the Polavaram project, Amaravati capital and Special Category Status (SCS) issues,” Dr. Reddy said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 8:55:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tdp-scoffs-at-rumours-of-panabaka-joining-ysrcp/article33179612.ece

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