VIJAYAWADA: The ruling YSR Congress has started a screening process to choose suitable candidates for the assembly elections in 2024, in segments where the party lost in the previous elections. The advance planning is to achieve the target of winning all the seats under ‘Mission 2024’ plan.
Among others, the Telugu Desam MLAs who had defected to the YSRC after the 2019 polls are likely to get party tickets.
The ruling party pressed in the teams of Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) to gauge the public pulse during the ongoing Gadapa Gadapaku Mana Prabhutvam mass contact programme. The team took stock of the performance of YSRC legislators and found some upwards of 40 legislators did not perform well. Following this, the party high-command has directed these legislators to improve their performances in the coming months.
The scenario of a triangular contest involving the YSRC, TD and JSP last time had a special impact on the winning chances of TD and several YSRC candidates in 30 seats in the 2019 elections. The YSRC won these seats with margins of 708 votes to 6,000. The TD lost these seats due to the split of non-YSRC votes, between TD and JSP in these segments.
The YSRC pressed the IPAC, a consultancy led by Rishiraj Singh, into action to help improve the YSRC chances in the next polls. In its primary surveys in these constituencies, the team found the ruling party legislators were not able to retain the support of the people and the party cadres.
Further, there are scuffles in the assembly segments of defected MLAs, between rival groups. For instance defected MLA Vallabhaneni Vamsi and YSRC incharge Yarlagadda Venkata Rao were behind some group clashes in Gannavaram. Hence, the high command started efforts to resolve differences by unofficially announcing candidates in advance.
Recently, during a YSRC segment plenary meeting at Palamaner, minister Peddireddi Ramachandra announced KRJ Bharat as YSRC candidate for the 2024 election in Kuppam constituency, the home turf of Chandrababu Naidu. Former minister and YSRC firebrand leader Kodali Venkateswara announced defected MLA Vallbhaneni Vamsi as YSRC candidate from Gannavaram during the party plenary.
Another former minister and Machilipatnam MLA Perni Venkataramaiah is unwilling to contest the 2024 election and is seeking to field his son Perni Krishnamurthy. Kodali Nani participating in the Machilipatnam plenary announced the name of Krishnamurthy as YSRC candidate for Machilipatnam and urged party cadres to support him.
Konaseema YSRC district president Sateesh Kumar, during the Razole area plenary, announced only one MLA of JSP, Rapaka Varaprasada -- who had shifted loyalties to ruling party -- as the Razole YSRC coordinator. The hint was that he would be given party ticket.
According to reliable sources, defected legislators Maddali Giri, Karanam Balaram and Vasupalli Ganesh were considered ruling party candidates for Guntur west, Chirala and Vizag west segments in the 2024 elections.
Party sources said Chief Minister and YSRC president Jagan Reddy gave eight months’ time to the legislators to better their performances if they want to retain their tickets in the next election. Hence they are putting in serious efforts and making good use of the mass contact programme.