TDP, BJP lock horns in MLC seat sharing in AP

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: Elections to the Legislative Council are ahead in March this year are a real testing time for the ruling Telugu Desam and BJP combine in Andhra Pradesh. The elections to the Graduates, Teachers and Legislators constituencies in the State are set to create ripples in the ruling combine with aspirants from both the parties on one side and the seat sharing between the two parties on the other.

The BJP, the small player in the State, is asking for two seats, one Graduates and the other in MLAs quota, while the big player, TDP is offering just one seat. The BJP leadership is upset with the TDP’s offer of Kadapa Graduates seat where the party has little strength. With an eye on the MLC elections, the BJP had enrolled greater number of graduates in the Visakhapatnam, where the party has considerable strength and is staking claim for the seat. However, the TDP is not ready to lose this seat as it had already given the MP seat and Visakhapatnam North Assembly seat to the BJP. The TDP is really worried about giving the MLC seat too to the BJP as it would help the national party to grow stronger in future. It is for this reason, the TDP is offering the Kadapa seat to the BJP, where Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s follower is staking claim giving tough time to the party State leadership.

While the TDP ridicules the BJP’s strength in the State to ask for more seats than its strength, the BJP claims that it had enough strength among the graduates to win the elections. The BJP also claims that a greater number of educated are in favour of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and would vote for the BJP in the MLC elections.

In the MLA quota too, the BJP is insisting on one seat this time. Last year, the party had received one seat and Somu Veerraju was elected to the Legislative Council. This year too, the party wants its due share for which the TDP is weighing its options. The TDP leaders have reportedly told the BJP State leadership to limit their demand to one seat, either in the graduates or the MLA constituencies, while the BJP wants two.

“The issue of seat sharing in the MLC elections would be decided by the national leadership of the two parties. However, the TDP should not be like a big brother as political alliance is important than the party’s own strength,” quipped a senior BJP leader.

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