BJP eyes Srikalahasti as part of seat sharing

BJP eyes Srikalahasti as part of seat sharing

  • Party may field its state spokesperson Kola Anand if TDP-JSP alliance gives its nod
  • TDP is still in a dilemma over candidatures of Sudheer and S C V Naidu and may agree to BJP’s proposal
  • The seat is one of the 5-6 the saffron party is eyeing if alliance materialises

Tirupati: The electoral landscape in Srikalahasti constituency is undergoing intriguing change as the impending announcement of the election schedule draws nearer. Within the TDP, deliberations are underway regarding the selection of candidate, with Bojjala Sudheer Reddy, the current constituency in-charge, under consideration. However, fresh contenders are emerging, adding complexity to the decision-making process.

Against the backdrop of an imminent announcement regarding the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance, speculation abounds within the constituency regarding the potential candidacy of Kola Anand, the BJP state spokesperson. It is widely believed that Anand will be the candidate from the alliance to take on the YSRCP candidate.

The TDP finds itself in a quandary over finalising its candidate from Srikalahasti, having seemingly indicated to Sudheer Reddy that he would be the chosen one. However, recent IVRS surveys conducted by the party have shown mixed results, with Sudheer Reddy's name receiving favourable responses only sporadically. Surprisingly, his mother, Brundamma, and his wife, Rishitha Reddy, garnered significant support in separate surveys, leaving Sudheer disconcerted. He reportedly expressed his displeasure to the party's central leadership about conducting surveys involving his family members, despite his dedicated groundwork.

Alternatively, the party is said to be actively considering the name of former MLA S C V Naidu who has rejoined the TDP in recent times bidding adieu to YSRCP where he did not get proper recognition. He has a good support base in the neighbouring Satyavedu, Venkatagiri and Sullurpet constituencies as well. If he is chosen, there must be a discontent among the Bojjala’s camp who has been working in the constituency actively since 2019, though he lost the election then to YSRCP’s Biyyapu Madhusudan Reddy.

Against the backdrop, news of Kola Anand's potential candidacy assumes significance. Reliable sources indicate that Srikalahasti is among the 5-6 Assembly seats that the BJP may stake a definite claim on, with Anand's Balija community background providing him with a substantial advantage due to the sizable Balija voter base in the constituency.

In addition, TDP and Jana Sena Party sympathisers may also vote for him if he becomes the alliance candidate besides BJP traditional voters. His previous roles as the chairman of the Srikalahasti Devasthanam trust board and municipal vice-chairman, coupled with his proactive leadership within the BJP, endeared him to the constituency though he lost deposits in 2019 elections by contesting on BJP ticket when alliance was not there.

The air of uncertainty shrouding the TDP and BJP's candidate selection in Srikalahasti is expected to lift in the coming days, with Sudheer Reddy, S C V Naidu and Kola Anand remaining the subjects of speculation until then.

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