Lok Sabha polls 2024: Andhra to vote in phase 4 on May 13

Counting of votes for the 2024 general election across the country will happen on the same day.
Kesineni Nani, Sanjeev Kumar, Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu, Kesineni Chinni
Kesineni Nani, Sanjeev Kumar, Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu, Kesineni Chinni
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Polling for the 2024 general elections to the Lok Sabha will happen in Andhra Pradesh on May 13, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Saturday, March 16. The Assembly elections will also be held on the same day, simultaneously. Counting of votes will happen across the country for the Lok Sabha and various Assembly elections on June 4. Andhra Pradesh has a total of 25 seats in the Lok Sabha. The ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) swept the previous 2019 general elections as it did with the Assembly polls, winning 22 seats. 

The opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was left with only three seats, and while YSRCP had secured a vote share of 50% in the 2019 general election, TDP had secured 40%. 

This time around, the TDP led by Chandrababu Naidu is contesting as part of a three-party alliance along with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They will be taking on the YSRCP led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and Congress which is being headed by YS Sharmila, Jagan’s sister. 

As per the seat sharing agreement with the BJP and Jana Sena, the TDP has agreed to leave eight out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats for its two allies. Jana Sena will contest from two Lok Sabha seats, and BJP from six, and TDP from the remaining 17 constituencies.

In the 2019 general elections, TDP, BJP, and Jana Sena contested separately. While the TDP and the BJP went alone, Jana Sena contested the polls in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Left parties.

The TDP was with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) till 2018, when it left in protest over Andhra Pradesh not being granted special category status by the Union government after the bifurcation of Telangana. And while Jana Sena did not contest the 2014 elections, Pawan Kalyan had lent his support to TDP. The three parties have now united again.

The YSRCP, meanwhile, has seen a wave of defections with many leaders including sitting MPs leaving for various reasons, such as the party’s choices in ticket allocation. Among those who have left the party in recent months is Ongole MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy, who is an accused-turned-approver in the Delhi liquor policy scam case along with his son Raghava. The YSRCP high command had decided that Sreenivasulu should contest as an MLA from the Giddalur Assembly seat, and Srinivasulu was purportedly slighted by this. 

Rebel YSRCP MP K Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, who has been showing support for the BJP, also resigned from the party in February. Mining baron Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy also resigned from the party and as a Rajya Sabha member. The founder and promoter of VPR Mining Infra Private Limited then joined the TDP and announced that he would contest the Lok Sabha elections from the Nellore parliamentary constituency. 

Meanwhile, Narasaraopet Lok Sabha MP Lavu Sri Krishnadevaraya resigned from the YSRCP and his parliamentary post and joined the TDP. Machilipatnam Lok Sabha MP Vallabhaneni Balashowry also quit the YSRCP to join the Jana Sena. Kurnool MP Sanjeev Kumar also left the YSRCP in January, alleging that the YSRCP was sidelining leaders from Other Backward Classes (OBCs). 

On March 16, Saturday, the party released its full list of 25 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls.

Meanwhile, although Congress has already announced two lists, it hasn’t named a single candidate from Andhra Pradesh. 

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