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CK Babu may contest as independent in 2019

CK Babu may contest as independent in 2019
Highlights

Former Chittoor MLA CK Jayachandra Reddy popularly known as CK Babu’s honeymoon in BJP seems to be coming to an end.

Tirupati: Former Chittoor MLA CK Jayachandra Reddy popularly known as CK Babu’s honeymoon in BJP seems to be coming to an end. Speculation was rife that the four-time MLA and one of the strong leaders in Chittoor may bid adieu to BJP which he had joined only in November 2017 and may contest the 2019 elections as an independent candidate and he doesn’t want to sail with the sinking ship anymore.

In fact, he started his career as an independent candidate in 1989 and won the election. He won as MLA in 1994, 1999 and 2009 as Congress candidate. Significantly, in 1994 elections, he was the only Congress candidate to win the election from Chittoor district as all the remaining 14 constituencies went into TDP’s account.

However, he lost the election in 2004 when he contested from Chittoor as an independent candidate after Congress party had denied him the ticket following a murder case. He did not contest in 2014 elections but extended support to YSRCP candidate Jangalapalli Srinivasulu, who was defeated by TDP candidate DK Satyaprabha.

Subsequently, he lost hold in municipal corporation also as his wife CK Lavanya could not win even as a corporator. Though, he used to have close relations with former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, his son and YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy seems to have not shown any
interest towards him.

After his wife claimed his candidature for Chittoor Assembly constituency, the YSRCP district convener could not digest that and subsequently the party central committee made a statement that CK Babu was not a member of their outfit in September 2017.

Soon things have moved faster and in November first week, CK Babu had joined BJP in the presence of its national president Amit Shah in Bengaluru. Questions were raised at that time as how he would be given ticket in 2019 elections as TDP, who had alliance with BJP at that time, was not expected to leave the seat as their MLA has been representing there.

After TDP came out of NDA, in fact, line was cleared for CK Babu to get the BJP ticket. But, it was expected that he was in second thoughts after taking stock of current political situation in which people’s sentiments were against BJP. In this backdrop, there was a scope for him to change his mind and go in his own way.

As there was no other option before him to join in any other party, he may contest as an independent candidate from Chittoor. Though this news was going viral for the last couple of days in the district, neither he nor BJP has officially denied it giving scope for speculation.

However, highly placed sources in BJP told The Hans India that he may not leave the party and there were no such indications as of now. Significantly, the arguments in favour of his contesting as an independent candidate because of large number of supporters from the Muslim community in Chittoor or Gudipala segments.

They have been expressing their displeasure over his joining BJP from the beginning. Also, he has good following in local business community. Recently, he went on to roads in support of business people at flower market and had heated exchange with TDP district president P Nani leading to tension in the city.

As he has his own group of strong followers he might be toying with the idea of contesting on his own rather than with BJP symbol. To show his strength, CK Babu was said to be considering seriously the prospects of fielding his own candidates in neighbouring Putalapattu and GD Nellore constituencies and in all probability, the next elections may witness multi-cornered contests which may keep the candidates of main parties in tense situation.

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