TDP banks on Raju caste votes by fielding rebel YSRCP MP Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju

The TDP has fielded Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju in the Undi Assembly seat, after its plan to field him in the Narasapuram Lok Sabha seat again fell through in the alliance/seat sharing talks with the BJP and Jana Sena.
Raghu Rama Krishna Raju
Raghu Rama Krishna Raju
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The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is heavily banking on the votes of the Kshatriya Raju community ahead of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha elections to be held on May 13. 

Sources within the party’s high command told TNM that the decision to field Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju, an eccentric rebel Member of Parliament (MP) who defected from the ruling YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), is likely to work in their favour. The Narasapuram MP, now set to contest from the Undi constituency in West Godavari district on an MLA ticket, is said to have been disgruntled with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for several years now. Undi is among the seven Assembly constituencies that fall under the Narasapuram Lok Sabha constituency.

While quitting the party in February 2024, Raju wrote a public letter to the Chief Minister likening him to a maverick dictator. “Your multiple and steady efforts like Mohammad Gazni to get me disqualified from my parliamentary membership haven’t yielded the desired result,” he wrote, adding that he spent sufficient time developing the Narasapuram constituency in his time as an MP. 

TDP sources also said that the rift between the CM and Krishnam Raju took place because Krishnam Raju was unwilling to toe the YSRCP party line. 

The TDP’s initial plan was to field Raghu Rama Krishnam Raju for the Narasapuram seat yet again, but the plan fell through in the alliance/seat sharing talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jana Sena. The alliance is fielding Bhupatiraju Srinivas Varma, a BJP loyalist popularly known as ‘BJP Varma’, also from the Raju community. At the same time, to cash in on Krishnam Raju’s immense sway and popularity in the West Godavari district, TDP chose to field Raju from the Undi Assembly seat.

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