The Bharatiya Janata Party which is contesting independently in Andhra Pradesh assembly elections has announced its first list of candidates with 123 names on Sunday. The party is yet to announce the Lok Sabha candidates. Unfazed by the anger against the party in the state, BJP has said that they will contest in the all the 175 Assembly and 25 MP seats.
Interestingly, Andhra BJP unit chief Kanna Lakshmi Narayana's name wasn't announced in the list. Lakshmi Narayana had unsuccessfully contested from Guntur west in the 2014 elections. This time however, he is likely to contest in a Lok Sabha constituency.
Among the present three MLAs, only Visakhapatnam sitting MLA, P Vishnu Raju's name was announced. He will be re-contesting from the same seat.
In 2014, the BJP which was in alliance with the TDP won four MLA seats- Rajahmundry, Tadepalligudem, Visakhapatnam and Kaikalur. However, in March, the alliance between the TDP and BJP was snapped over the BJP-led centre not according Special Category Status to the state as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014.
After the fallout, the BJP MLAs, P Manikyalarao, Kamineni Srinivas who were serving as minister in the cabinet resigned from their posts.
Sensing a rout for the party in the upcoming polls, earlier in January, Rajahmundry MLA Akula Satyanarayana resigned from the BJP and joined Pawan Kalyan led Jana Sena Party. Though it was speculated that others too would be switching loyalties, they remained with the BJP.
Meanwhile, Opposition party YSRCP released its full list of Assembly candidates on Sunday. YSRCP President Jagan Mohan Reddy will contest from Pulivendula constituency.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has also announced its first list of candidates for the Assembly elections, containing 126 names. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu will be seeking re-election from Kuppam constituency in his native Chittoor district.
Andhra Pradesh has 175 Assembly seats and 25 Parliament seats. The state would go for polls on April 11.
AP will witness a multi-cornered fight with the alliance of JSP-BSP-Left, TDP and YSRCP in fray. However, the main contest will only be between the ruling TDP and YSRCP.