Andhra Pradesh: TDP names four more LS candidates, including Srinivasulu Reddy from Ongole


by IANS | Sat, Mar 30, 2024, 02:30 PM

Amaravati, March (IANS) Four-time MP from Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy, who is in the middle of the Delhi excise policy case, is among the four Lok Sabha candidates announced by the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) on Friday.

Srinivasulu Reddy, who was elected from Ongole on a YSR Congress Party ticket in 2019, has been fielded from Ongole. He quit the ruling party and joined the TDP last month after he was denied a ticket for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Srinivasulu Reddy’s son Raghava Magunta Reddy was also named as an accused in the Delhi excise policy case.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged that the father-son duo, who own Balaji Distilleries, are part of the ‘South Group’, whose members allegedly received undue benefits under the Delhi excise policy in exchange for kickbacks paid to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Srinivasulu Reddy was questioned by the ED, but was not named as accused in the case.

The MP’s son had turned approver and based on his statements, the ED is reported to have built its case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, AAP, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) leader K. Kavitha.

Kejriwal and Kavitha were recently arrested by the ED in the case.

Raghava, who was arrested in February 2023 on money laundering charges, was allowed to turn an approver and granted pardon in October 2023. He got anticipatory bail in a CBI case last month.

Kejriwal claimed in the court that it was after Raghava’s arrest that his father changed his previous statement to the ED.

Srinivasulu Reddy was earlier elected to the Lok Sabha from Ongole on a Congress ticket in 1998, 2004, and 2009. He had joined the TDP after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and contested unsuccessfully from the same seat on a TDP ticket in 2014. He later switched loyalties to the YSRCP.

Meanwhile, the TDP has also named Kalisetti Appalanadiu as its candidate from the Vizianagaram constituency, while Ambica Lakshminarayana is the party candidate from Anantapur, and Chidipiralla Bhupesh Reddy from Kadapa.

With its second list, the TDP has now announced candidates for all the 17 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting in the state in alliance with the BJP and the Jana Sena.

Under the seat-sharing agreement, the BJP was allotted six Lok Sabha seats and the Jana Sena two.

The TDP also announced a third list of nine candidates for the Assembly elections. Former minister Kala Venkat Rao will contest from Cheepurapalle, while another former minister, Ganta Srinivas Rao, has been fielded from Bhimili.

In the 2019 elections, Srinivas Rao was elected on a TDP ticket from the Visakhapatnam North constituency. He, however, resigned as an MLA in 2021 over the Centre’s move to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. However, his resignation was accepted by Speaker Tammineni Sitaram only in January this year.

Gummanur Jayaram, who was the Minister for Labour and Employment in the Jagan Mohan Reddy Cabinet and had quit the YSRCP to join the TDP earlier this month, has been named the TDP candidate from the Guntakal constituency.

Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had asked Jayaram to contest the Lok Sabha polls, but he refused.

Under the seat-sharing arrangement, the TDP is contesting 144 out of the 175 Assembly seats. It has left 10 Assembly seats for the BJP and 21 seats for the Jana Sena.

Simultaneous elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha are scheduled on May 13.

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