Lokesh to be MLC first, Minister later in March
Amaravati: Telugu Desam Party national general secretary Nara Lokesh is set to be the MLC first in the MLA quota, elections for which are scheduled on March 17. The AP MLAs would elect seven MLCs of which the ruling TDP is confident of wresting six, leaving one to the YSR Congress. There is a tough fight in all likelyhood for the seventh seat with the TDP and the YSR Congress falling short of the number.
The TDP leadership had zeroed in on the candidature of Lokesh for the first seat out of the five it is sure of. After the election and counting of votes, Lokesh, along with others, would begin their stint after March 28, when the sitting MLCs in the MLA quota retire. The TDP MLCs, S V Satish Kumar Reddy, vice-chairman of the council, K Pratibha Bharati, Congress MLCs, C Ramachandraiah, M Sudhakar Babu, P Chengalrayudu and Mohmmad Jani and CPI MLC P J C Sekhar Rao are completing their term on March 28. While the Congress has no chance of contesting this election as it has no MLAs this time, Ramachandraiah and Sudhakar Babu would have to wait for the next opportunity. However, the two other Congress MLCs, Chengalrayudu and Jani who have defected to the ruling TDP recently, are seeking re-election. Even Pratibha Bharati, who had completed just two and a half years term, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Paladugu Venkatarao, is seeking another term. While it is not sure how many of them make it to the Council this time, the TDP had decided on the candidature of Lokesh in the slot, which is comfortable for the young leader.
Meanwhile, the State is also witnessing tough fight for the Council elections in the teachers, graduates, local bodies and the Governor quota. While Governors quota would completely be in the hands of the ruling party to fill the two vacancies, the TDP is having tough time in the teachers and graduates seats, where the Left-sponsored Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) is having an edge with all the four sitting MLCs from its team fighting for the second term. The three graduates seats of Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam represented by M V S Sarma, Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor represented by Y Srinivasula Reddy and Ananthapur-Kurnool-Kadapa represented by Dr M Geyanand, is witnessing tough fight with the BJP trying to wrest the north coastal districts seat and the TDP equally firm on winning the south coastal and seema districts seats. In the two graduates seats, Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor is held by V Balasubrahmanyam of the PDF, while the Ananthapur-Kadapa-Kurnool is held by Dr B Pullaiah of the CPI-backed teachers union. While the PDF is leaving no stone unturned to retain the Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor seat, the TDP had laid its hands on the Ananthapur-Kadapa-Kurnool seats.
The ruling TDP would be having a cakewalk in the nine MLC seats to be elected from the local body quota. The MLCs, Ch Narayana Reddy from Kadapa, M Govardhana Reddy from Ananthapur, Silpa Chakrapani Reddy from Kurnool, B Naresh Reddy from Chittoor, V Narayana Reddy from Nellore, Angara Ramamohan and Meka Suresh Babu from West Godavari, Reddy Subrahmanyam from East Godavari and P V Prasada Rao from Srikakulam are retiring in the middle of March. Except in Kadapa, where former Minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy is trying his luck on the Opposition YSR Congress ticket, election for the remaining seats in the local body quota would give a cakewalk for the ruling TDP.
Retiring MLCs and elections in AP
Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam – M V S Sarma – PDF
Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor – Y Srinivasula Reddy – PDF
Ananthapur-Kurnool-Kadapa – Dr M Geyanand – PDF
Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor- V Balasubrahmanyam – PDF
Anathapur-Kurnool-Kadapa – Dr Bachala Pullaiah – PRTU
Local Bodies Constituencies
Kadapa – Ch Narayana Reddy – Independent
Anathapur – Mettu Govinda Reddy – TDP
Chittoor – B Naresh Kumar Reddy – TDP
Kurnool – Silpa Chakrapani Reddy – TDP
Nellore – V Narayana Reddy – Congress
West Godavari – Angara Ramamohan – TDP
West Godavari – Meka Seshu Babu – Independent
East Godavari – Reddy Subrahmanyam – TDT
Srikakulam – P V Prasada Rao – Congress
K Pratibha Bharati TDP
B Chengalrayudu – Congress (NOW TDP)
C Ramachandraiah – Congress
M Sudhakar Babu – Congress
S V Satish Kumar Reddy – TDP – VC
P J C Sekhar Rao – CPI
Mohmmad Jani – Congress – now TDP