Taking a cue from Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu has started announcing candidates for Assembly elections well in advance. Naidu on Thursday announced candidates for five assembly constituencies in Kadapa district.
Holding consultations with party leaders from each parliamentary constituency, Naidu is finalising the candidates for Assembly segments falling under it. Naidu began the consultations by taking up Rajampet Lok Sabha constituency. Out of seven Assembly constituencies that fall under this parliamentary seat, Naidu declared candidates for five seats.
Nallari Kishan Kumar Reddy, brother of former Chief Minister and Congress leader Kiran Kumar Reddy, will contest from Pileru constituency. TDP MP from Chittoor N. Siva Prasad's son-in-law Narasimha Prasad will be the party candidate from Railway Koduru. Anusha Reddy has been named as the candidate from Punganur. The other candidates are B. Chengalrayudu (Rajampet) and Ramesh Reddy (Rayachoti).
After Rajampet Lok Sabha constituency, Naidu began consultations with leaders from Kadapa constituency. TDP sources said this exercise would continue for next few days to finalise candidates for majority of the constituencies even before the announcement of poll dates by the Election Commission.
Early selection of candidates will give them adequate time to run the campaign. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had announced majority of the candidates for Assembly elections in Telangana nearly three months before the elections. After selecting the candidates for Assembly constituencies, Naidu will begin the process for picking up candidates for Lok Sabha polls.
Simultaneous elections to Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Lok Sabha are due in April-May. As the polls get closer, politics in the state is also getting heated, with several politicians defecting to parties where they are more likely to get a ticket.
At least six prominent political leaders have jumped ship to opposition parties in Andhra in the last month alone.