TDP fields old candidates for by-polls

May 1st, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, May 1 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Thursday announced its candidates for by-elections from the state to the legislative assembly and the Lok Sabha, fielding almost all of its old candidates who had lost the 2004 elections. Former union minister S. Venugopalachary has been named from Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency. L. Ramna will contest from Karimnagar, and Venkateshwarlu from Hanamkonda for the Lok Sabha seats. E. Dayakar Rao is the only new candidate, whom the TDP has pitted from Warangal constituency.

Elections to four Lok Sabha and 18 assembly constituencies are scheduled to be held May 29. The TDP left two assembly seats, Musheerabad and Cheriyal, for the Communist Party of India-Marxist CPI-M), which recently announced its support to TDP in all constituencies except those where the Left parties arefielding their candidates.

The by-elections were caused by the resignations of four MPs and 16 state legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to protest the ruling Congress’ s failure to keep its election promise to create a separate state of Telangana.

The by-polls to two assembly constituencies were necessitated because the sitting legislators of the ruling Congress and TDP died. The two parties have mutually agreed not to field candidates against each in these two constituencies - Khairatabad and Therlam, to help the sons of the deceased legislators return unanimously.

However, a contest is looking inevitable in Khairatabad in the state capital as TRS and Lok Satta parties have fielded candidates against Congress candidate P. Vishnuvardhan Reddy.

TDP president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced the list of candidates after his party politburo meeting in Guntur district Thursday morning.

The Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency, from where Ramna of the TDP will contest, was represented by TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao. His main rival will be Jeevan Reddy of the Congress, who resigned from the state ministry as the roads and buildings minister Thursday and has been nominated for the polls.

This will be the second by-election in Karimnagar constituency. KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, resigned last year on being challenged by some Congress leaders but was re-elected with a massive majority.

“I am thankful to the party leadership that it has given me another chance to fight against a political opportunist,” Jeevan Reddy told newsmen.

The TDP has mostly fielded the same candidates who lost the 2004 elections, except in Warangal where it has fielded sitting assembly member Dayakar Rao.

TDP’s candidates for assembly constituencies include former minister K. Srihari, whose recent statement on Telangana created ripples in the party. He asked Naidu to support separate statehood to Telangana region to return to power. He will contest from Station Ghanpur constituency in Warangal district.

Other prominent candidates for assembly by-elections include former ministers E. Peddi Reddy (Huzurabad), T. Srinivas Yadav (Secunderabad), M. Venkateshwar Rao (Dichpally) and Muthyam Reddy (Dommat).

The by-elections are crucial for all parties in view of the next year’s general elections. The TRS, CPI and CPI-M, which contested the 2004 elections in alliance with the Congress party, are for the present by-elections pitted against it. While CPI-M has joined hands with the TDP, the CPI has decided to maintain equidistance from both the Congress and the TDP. The Left parties together are contesting four assembly constituencies.

In 2004 elections, the Congress won a landslide majority to end a decade-long rule of the TDP, which could bag only 45 seats in the 294-member assembly. The TDP won only five out of 42 Lok Sabha seats from the state.

The TRS bagged 26 seats but 10 legislators have since revolted against the party leadership. Of the five TRS MPs elected, A. Narendra was expelled from the party last year for his alleged involvement in the human smuggling scandal.

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