Hyderabad: Hours after the TRS picked its candidate, the BJP nominated Dr Panugonthu Ravi Kumar, a government general civil surgeon who had recently resigned from the post, for the Nagarjunasagar bypoll.
Dr Kumar belongs to the ST community. In the context of the political and community votes, the Congress has fielded K. Jana Reddy and the TRS Nomula Bhagat who belongs to the Yadava community.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh announced Dr Kumar’s candidature following discussions that state party unit president Bandi Sanjay Kumar had with key leaders.
Dr Kumar will file his nomination papers on Tuesday, the last day, at the Nidamanoor returning office in the presence of senior leaders.
Senior leaders told Deccan Chronicle that the decision would yield dividends to the party in the future as well. They stated that the ST community has more than 35,000 votes and is the deciding factor in any election.
They said that the Congress would have benefited if the BJP had also nominated a candidate from the Yadava community as the TRS had done.
Earlier, K. Niveditha Reddy and Anjaiah Yadav were seen as the front runners. But most senior leaders opted for Dr Kumar. In fact, Niveditha Reddy had gone ahead and filed her nomination papers.
In the 2018 election, Niveditha Reddy had got 2,675 votes in the Nagarjunasagar Assembly constituency and lost her deposit. Anjaiah Yadav had contested on a TD ticket and secured 27,858 votes to stand third
The BJP has fielded several leaders as star campaigners for the byelection: Bandi Sanjay, party vice-president D.K. Aruna, Union minister of state G. Kishan Reddy, OBC Morcha president Dr K. Laxman,MLAs T. Raja Singh and M. Raghunandan Rao, MP Dharmapuri Arvind, party leaders Indrasena Reddy, P. Muralidhar Rao, Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy and N. Ramchander Rao.
The party leadership appointed coordinators for each mandal and major villages. Party leaders including Sankineni Venkateswar Rao and Chada Suresh Reddy will coordinate the campaign effort.
Former MLAs Yendala Lakshminarayana, Jayapal Reddy, Vijayarama Rao, Chandrasekhar, E. Peddi Reddy, M. Dharma Rao, P. Mohan Reddy, Kuna Srisailam Goud and Kasipeta lingaiah will coordinate at the mandal and village levels....