TD Rebels Talk Tough in North Andhra

Visakhapatnam: The third list announced by the alliance partners has caused a stir among the TD ticket-seekers in north Andhra. They are now seeking to defeat the official candidates, including the sitting MP Rama Mohan Naidu.

Rebels held meetings in their constituencies Srikakulam, Pathapatnam and S Kota on Sunday to discuss the future course of action.

The biggest shock came to the Gunda Appala Suryanarayana and Lakshmi Devi couple. Suryanarayana was TD MLA from 1985 to 2004 and his wife Lakshmi Devi was elected in 2014. She lost to YSRC’s Dharmana Prasada Rao in the 2019 elections.

“Chandrababu Naidu promised to inform me in advance if there were any changes but quietly replaced me with Gondu Shankar. I blame party president Kinjarapu Atchannaidu and his nephew Ram Mohan Naidu, Srikakulam, for this fiasco. We will defeat both,’’ Lakshmi Devi told the media on Sunday.

On the day the list was announced, her supporters ransacked the party office and burnt party flags and posters and smashed Chandrababu Naidu’s pictures.

She said the TD leaders should explain on what grounds the ticket was given to an unknown person like Gondu Shankar.

Similar incidents were reported from Pathapatnam, where the party high command nominated Mamidi Govinda Rao in place of senior leader Kalamata Venkata Ramana. Venkata Ramana won in 2014 on behalf of YSRC and later joined TD before the 2019 elections. He lost to Reddy Shanti of the YSRC in the 2019 elections.

Kalamata launched his campaign last year, hoping to wrest the seat from the YSRC. The announcement of Mamidi Govinda Rao’s name came as a shock to him.

Similar to the flare up in Srikakulam, the Kalamata followers burnt the pictures of Chandrababu Naidu and Lokesh. Kalamata blamed party president Atchannaidu for the denial of the party ticket to him.

S Kota in Vizianagaram, another stronghold of the Telugu Desam, is also facing threat from the new candidate, Gompa Krishna. The NRI was very confident of getting the ticket and spent money in building the network in recent months. However, the high command nominated Kolla Lalitha Kumari, who was twice MLA -- in 2009 and 2014. She lost to Kadibandi Srinivasa Rao of the YSRC in the 2019 elections.

Gompa Krishna along with his followers erased the TD name and symbol at his office in S Kota and prepared himself to contest as an independent.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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