TD starts hunt for winners in next assembly elections

Only candidates who score more than 70% on five different criteria will be chosen as Telugu Desam nominees from a particular constituency

TIRUPATI: Believing that general assembly elections are going to be held anytime within the next one year, opposition Telugu Desam party has intensified its search for suitable candidates, who could be fielded on behalf of the party in each of the constituencies in the state.

TD leadership wants to choose candidates who can give a tough fight and win over the ruling YSR Congress candidates. A senior leader told Deccan Chronicle: “For selecting candidates, we are following a new methodology. It will be based on five different types of surveys by five separate agencies. Based on all these surveys, aspirants will be rated on a scale of 100. The candidate of a particular constituency will be chosen from among those who score more than 70 percent.”

Sources in Telugu Desam disclosed that discussions on party candidates pertaining to erstwhile Chittoor district had been held during the constituency-wise reviews held by the party at the recently concluded Mahanadu.

TD national president N. Chandrababu Naidu is weighing pros and cons in choosing winning candidates for all assembly constituencies in Chittoor district, including Kuppam, from where he himself will contest.

Naidu has directed party leaders to identify candidates who are popular in their respective constituencies.

The former chief minister had recently clarified that Challa Ramchandra Reddy aka Challa Babu will contest from Punganur assembly segment, which is considered the citadel of minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. Nallari Kishore Kumar Reddy, brother of former CM N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is tipped to contest from Piler.

Pulivarthi Nani, who unsuccessfully contested against the ruling party’s candidate Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy in Chandragiri in 2019 elections, will contest from Chittoor.

Similarly, other favourites are former minister N. Amaranatha Reddy (Palamaner), former MLA G. Shankar Yadav (Thamballapalle), Gali Bhanuprakash (Nagari), and Bojjala Sudheer Reddy from Srikalahasti assembly segment.

Telugu Desam leadership is yet to decide on its nominees from Tirupati, Chandragiri, Madanapalle, G.D. Nellore, Puthalapattu and Satyavedu constituencies. This is mainly because there is heavy competition within local TD leaders for securing the party ticket. Sources said to get over this problem, party leadership may look for entirely new candidates in these constituencies.

Party leaders disclosed that Chandrababu Naidu will embark on a state-wide tour shortly, starting from Chittoor district. This is because an internal survey revealed that Telugu Desam still remains weak in this district, even though it has improved considerably throughout the state. In 2019 assembly general elections, TD won only one of the 14 constituencies in the erstwhile Chittoor district – Kuppam, which is represented by Naidu himself.

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