Former cricketer Ambati Rayudu resigns from YSRCP just days after joining. Here’s why

Sources revealed that he initially agreed to join, but his displeasure arose when the party considered others for the Guntur constituency.

ByBhaskar Basava

Published Jan 06, 2024 | 5:00 PMUpdatedJan 06, 2024 | 5:03 PM

Former cricketer Ambati Rayudu with YSRCP chief and AP CM YS Jagan. (Supplied)

In a surprising twist, Ambati Rayudu, the former Indian cricketer who joined YSRCP on 28 December 2023, announced his departure from the party within a mere 10 days of joining.

Political circles, including those in Rayudu’s hometown Guntur, were caught off guard by this unexpected move, which he announced to the public on social media platform X.

Upset over others being considered

On 28, May 2023, Rayudu announced his retirement after CSK’s victory in the IPL finals against the Gujarat Titans.

Firmly stating that there would be no turning back this time, he alluded to his previous reversal on quitting cricket in all formats after being left out of the 2019 World Cup team.

While Rayudu officially joined the YSRCP on 28 December, 2023, his involvement in political activities commenced before his IPL retirement.

He had even met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy twice before formally joining the party and was entrusted with overseeing the YSRCP government’s sports campaign “Aadudam Andhra”.

Although the party anticipated his active campaigning for the YSRCP ahead of the upcoming elections, specifically engaging with the Kapu community to which both he and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan belong, Rayudu’s sudden exit has thrown a wrench into their plans.

An earlier report by South First on his joining indicated that Rayudu initially expressed interest in entering the Parliament through the Rajya Sabha.

However, the party later proposed nominating him for the Lok Sabha elections from Guntur, which Rayudu claimed as his native place since aligning with the YSRCP.

Sources revealed to South First that his displeasure arose when the party considered others for the same constituency.

“Chief Minister Jagan and his aides are looking for someone else for the Guntur constituency which has irked Rayudu. Although they were only considering a second candidate, Rayudu began sulking and went incommunicado last night. He posted about his decision to quit from the YSRCP today on X,” the source said.

On X, Rayadu further mentioned that he wants to stay out of politics for a little while. “Further action will be conveyed in due course of time,” he added.

Also Read: YSR or NTR families are Andhra Pradesh’s only choices

Narasaraopet MP asked to take Guntur

As reported earlier by South First, it was Narasaraopet MP Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu who was asked to contest from Guntur or Vijayawada. Rejecting the proposal as an unfair request, he argued that he had been actively working in the Narasaraopet segment for the past five years. Shifting to the Guntur segment, a TDP stronghold, seemed less favourable according to him.

Vijayawada and Guntur are two of the three Lok Sabha segments won by the TDP in the 2019 elections, despite the wave favouring Jagan Mohan.

Speaking to the media on 6 January, Lavu confirmed being asked to shift to Guntur but stated that he had presented his case and is now awaiting the party’s response.

On the contrary, considering recommendations from IPAC, a poll consultancy working for the YSRCP, the party is inclined towards fielding a BC (Backwards Classes) candidate. However, Lavu, belonging to a forward community, sees no valid reason for this shift.