Lack of consensus, open revolt in Uttarandhra as TDP-JSP-BJP struggle to finalise candidates

The alliance has been struggling to finalise candidates across Andhra Pradesh irking the cadres on ground ahead of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.

Lack of consensus, open revolt in Uttarandhra as TDP-JSP-BJP struggle to finalise candidates

VISAKHAPATNAM: The grand alliance of the TDP, the Jana Sena Party (JSP) and the BJP in Andhra Pradesh seems to be struggling to finalise its candidates for the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats especially in Uttarandhra region.

As part of the alliance, BJP has been allotted six Lok Sabha and ten Assembly seats in the State. Of the six MP seats, it is being speculated that the BJP wants to contest in Vizianagaram, Anakapalli and Araku and senior party leaders are competing for an opportunity to contest from these seats.

No consensus on Lok Sabha seats

Andhra Pradesh BJP president Daggubati Purandeswhari is coordinating with the party high command in New Delhi to finalise the seats. Former MLC PVN Madhav and State BJP general secretary and SAIL director Kashi Viswanatha Raju Sagi are vying for the Vizianagaram Lok Sabha seat. However, the TDP has suggested to the BJP to field a BC instead of an OC candidate. In this regard, the head of the Pulsus Group, Gedela Srinubabu, went to New Delhi on Tuesday and met BJP leaders to seek a ticket for himself.

For the party, Rajya Sabha member CM Ramesh seems to have been finalised for the Anakapalli MP seat while it is expected that former MP Kothapalli Geetha would be retained for Araku MP seat. However, Andhra Pradesh Adivasi Joint Action Committee have written to BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to not give the ticket to Geetha as she is a non-tribal.

Visakhapatnam South conundrum

In the Assembly segments, the alliance is facing trouble in the Visakhapatnam South constituency. On Wednesday, a fight ensued between Jana Sena cadres. Former MLC Vamsi Krishna Srinivas and corporator Shadik Vargiya along with their respective cadres fought openly in public claiming that that the constituency ticket was allotted to them.

JSP president Pawan Kalyan had named Vamsi Krishna Srinivas, who resigned from the YSRCP as the party nominee for Visakhapatnam South. However, Vasmi Krishna is facing heat as some corporators and JSP leaders had opposed his candidature saying that he was a non-local.

Soon after the allotment of Visakhapatnam South to the JSP as part of the alliance, TDP coordinator of the constituency Gandi Babji quit the party. Babji had been working in the constituency for the last three years with the hope of getting a TDP ticket.

Senior TDP leaders miffed

Due to the alliance, the TDP has been facing heat internally from its senior leaders who were confident of getting a ticket. Leaders like Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy were miffed that the constituencies in which they hoped to get a ticket, were allotted to the JSP.

The TDP high command seems to be pacifying Ganta Srinivasa Rao to contest from Cheepurupalli in Vizianagaram district and go head-to-head with YSRCP senior leader and Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana. However, the former TDP minister did not evince any interest in contesting from his neighbouring district and now wants to contest from Bheemunipatnam constituency.

Followers of Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy too took out a rally and want the Pendurthi seat to be allotted to him as he had toiled for the party for the past two decades. They were miffed that a ticket was not allotted to the senior leader so far due to the alliance.

Open revolt in Dharmavaram, Narasaraopet

Elsewhere, there was an open revolt in the grand alliance in Dharmavaram of Satya Sai district as there has been no consensus on the candidate for the constituency.

The JSP cadres infact held a massive rally on Wednesday under the leadership of the party's general secretary Chilakam Madhusudana Reddy to push for the allocation of the Dharmavaram seat to him. The party cadres had decided not to cooperate if the ticket was allotted to the BJP.

Meanwhile, TDP cadres led by Paritala Sriram openly revolted against supporting the BJP candidate and former MLA Suryanarayana, who was previously with the TDP. They felt that he had ditched the party to join the BJP and were unhappy over talks of the constituency to be allotted to him.

In Narasaraopet, a TDP worker tried to commit suicide during a press conference by consuming insecticide as he wanted Narasaraopet ticket to be given to Chadalavada Aravinda Babu. The worker though was immediately rushed to a hospital where he is being treated. There is no clarity as to which candidate in the grand alliance would secure a ticket from the constituency.

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