TDP faces formidable PDF challenge in MLC polls

Dara Gopi

Amaravati: The nominees of the Left-sponsored Progressive Democratic Front (PDF) are giving tough time to the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the Legislative Council (MLC) elections. The PDF candidates are in the fray for the two teachers and three graduates’ constituencies in the State. The PDF is currently holding four out of five seats and is seeking re-election.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had secured the Visakha-Vizianagaram- Srikakulam graduates’ constituency in alliance with TDP, while the ruling party is set to contest the remaining four seats – two graduates and two teachers’ constituencies. While the BJP nominated its youth wing leader PVN Madhav for the north coastal Andhra graduates seat, the PDF fielded MVS Sarma. The BJP appears to have an edge here with the party focusing on enrolling more graduate voters keeping an eye on the MLC elections. However, the PDF is confident of retaining the seat since Sarma is the sitting MLC.

In other places, the PDF nominated sitting MLC M Gayanand for the Anantapur-Kurnool-Kadapa graduates’ constituency and K Narasimha Reddy for the teachers’ constituency. In the Chittoor-Prakasam-Nellore teachers’ constituency, the PDF fielded V Balasubrahmanyam, leaving the graduates’ seat to Y Srinivasula Reddy.

Sarma, Gayanand, Balasubrahmanyam and Srinivasula Reddy are seeking re-election from their respective constituencies and are firm on their victory. The PDF has done well in the Council in the last six years, particularly in the absence of Congress as strong opposition.

With only two days left for filing of nominations, the run for the March 9 polling for both the teachers and the graduates’ constituencies is all set to see the parties having a tough battle. The ruling TDP too has taken the elections seriously and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has already instructed the rank and file to wrest the seats from the PDF. The TDP captured the Krishna-Guntur teachers’ constituency from the PDF in the last elections by backing the candidature of AS Ramakrishna. The TDP moved earth and heaven to wrest the seat from the PDF by defeating the sitting MLC KS Lakshmana Rao and wants to repeat the same this time too.

The CPI-M backed PDF is strong in all the three graduates’ constituencies, Srikakulam-Vizianagaram-Visakhapatnam, Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor and Ananthapur-Kadapa-Kurnool, besides the Prakasam-Nellore-Chittoor teachers’ constituency, while the CPI-backed PRTU is strong and currently representing the Ananthapur-Kadapa-Kurnool teachers’ constituency.

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