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Naidu succumbs to BJP pressure on Ongole LS seat

Naidu succumbs to BJP pressure on Ongole LS seat

Telugu Desam Party president and former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu has finally succumbed to pressure from the Bharatiya Janata Party bosses in Delhi on the selection of candidate for Ongole Lok Sabha seat.

Initially, Naidu proposed to give the party ticket to sitting Ongole MP Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy’s son Magunta Raghava Reddy. Both father and son defected from the YSR Congress party to the TDP.

At time of defection, Magunta announced that he would step down from contest and field his son Raghava from Ongole. While joining the TDP, he made a request to Naidu to that effect and the latter agreed for the same.

But Raghava’s name did not figure in the list of 13 MP candidates whose names were released by Naidu as part of the first list.

Apparently, the BJP central leadership, particularly Union home minister Amit Shah, asked Naidu not to give ticket to Raghava, who is one of the accused in the Delhi liquor policy scam.

The BJP leadership told Naidu that a ticket to Raghava would give an impression that he had been rewarded for turning an approver against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Bharat Rashtra Samith leader K Kavitha. Moreover, Shah said the party doesn’t want a scam-tainted person to be part of the NDA.

Against this backdrop, Naidu was in a dilemma on whom to field from Ongole. He could not find any other suitable leader, because Magunta family has been dominating the constituency and has a very good reputation in the entire Prakasam district.

On Monday, Raghava Reddy opted out of the contest, after realising that his entry would only spoil the TDP-BJP relations. So, he said his father himself would contest the elections from Ongole parliamentary constituency. 

Since Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy is not directly involved in the Delhi liquor scam, the BJP national leadership, too, may not have much objection to his selection.

Secondly, Magunta has good connections with the BJP central leaders and that would help the TDP get the benefits to the state, Naidu felt.


Tags: Andhra Pradesh Ongole Magunta Srinivasula Reddy