Rajya Sabha polls: TDP files nominations for just two seats
Hyderabad: Unsure of support from four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs due to its ongoing rift, the Telugu Desam Party has filed nominations for just two out of the three Rajya Sabha (RS) seats that go to polls in Andhra Pradesh on 23 March. It was earlier expected that it would field candidates for all three seats and give the main opposition YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) a run for its money for the third.
But with the recent spat over AP’s funding (with the Centre) in the Union Budget 2018, and with both the TDP and BJP withdrawing their ministers from the state and union cabinets, the Telugu Desam Party led by AP chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has decided to play it safe and avoid mudslinging over the RS seats. With this, the YSRCP is all set to win the third one easily.
The AP assembly has 175 MLAS, out of which 125 legislators (including 22 defections from the YSRCP) are from the TDP, 44 from the YSRCP, four from the BJP and two independents. Each nominee requires 44 votes to win. The TDP has enough legislators to win two seats and would have required the support of another seven to win a third, if at all it had decided to contest all three.
“With BJP’s four votes being uncertain, we would have needed more cross-voting from the YSRCP. To get support from the opposition would have created a ruckus, leading to allegations of bribing MLAs against us. The party decided to avoid all that, especially when it is still at loggerheads with the BJP at the centre and state,” said a senior TDP leader, who was unwilling to be identified.
After days of consultation and speculation, the TDP on Sunday announced that it is renominating sitting Rajya Sabha MP C.M.Ramesh and senior advocate K.Ravindra Kumar, who is known to be at the helm of TDP’s legal cell. The YSRCP on the other hand has fielded Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy, a party member and industrialist from Nellore.