The main opposition Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh has opted out of the contest for the bye-election to Badvel (SC) Assembly constituency in Kadapa district, slated for October 30. The TDP Politburo, at its meeting chaired by president N Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday, decided to "honour the tradition" and stay out of the contest as the ruling YSR Congress Party fielded the widow of the deceased MLA in Badvel.
TDP state president K Atchannaidu said in a release after the Politburo meeting that it was their party that started the tradition of not fielding a candidate whenever the widow of a deceased (sitting) legislator contested a bye-election. "Our Politburo decided to continue the tradition," he said. In fact, TDP announced its candidate more than a month ago even before the Election Commission of India took a decision whether or not to conduct the bye-poll in Badvel. It named Obulapuram Rajasekhar, who lost the 2019 election, for the bye-poll contest.
The YSRCP named Dasari Sudha, widow of late MLA Venkata Subbaiah, as its nominee. Subbaiah died in March this year of ill-health, causing the bye-election. Jana Sena, an ally of the BJP, too said it would not contest the Badvel bye-election. Interestingly, the BJP will jump into the fray, though its alliance partner's support is not ensured. The nomination process ends on October 8.
The Election Commission of India recently announced the schedule for the bye-poll, according to which the last date for filing of nominations is October 8. The results will be declared on November 2. YSRCP general secretary SRK Reddy had earlier said that their president and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy chose Sudha as the party candidate in keeping with the tradition of fielding the kin of the departed legislator in the bye-election.
"The bye-poll will give us an opportunity to tell people what we have done in the last 28 months. This will also help us know the people's pulse," he had said.