Jana Sena likely to debut in Andhra Pradesh council with Hariprasad, TDP rewards Ramachandraiah

The victory of the two candidates is a matter of formality since the TDP-JSP-BJP combine has a comfortable majority in the Assembly.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jul 03, 2024 | 11:58 AM Updated Jul 03, 2024 | 12:44 PM

Andhra MLC election

The Jana Sena Party (JSP) will have representation in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council for the first time. The Telugu Desam Party’s strength will go up to nine after the by-election for two slots concludes on 12 July.

With the TDP-JSP-BJP alliance having an unassailable majority in the Legislative Assembly — 164 of the 175 seats —  the outcome of the election is expected to be a formality.

JSP chief Pawan Kalyan fielded his political secretary P Hariprasad while the TDP nominated party leader C Ramachandraiah from Annayamayya for the two berths under the MLAs quota.

They filed their nomination papers on Tuesday, 2 July.

Also Read: Deputy CM Pawan Kalyan refuses to take salary citing lack of funds

More representation for Kapus

Of the two berths, one fell vacant following the disqualification of Ramachandraiah after he left the YSRCP and joined the TDP ahead of the general elections. The other vacancy arose after YSRCP MLC Mohammad Iqbal resigned from the party and joined the TDP.

Interestingly, both the TDP and Jana Sena candidates belong to the Kapu community, a forward caste in Andhra unlike in Telangana where they are classified as a backward community.

Though the TDP and JSP are two different parties and have the freedom to hand-pick their respective candidates, their decision to field Kapu candidates is causing some heartburn among hopefuls from other castes as the two parties are part of the ruling NDA.

Former police officer Iqbal resigned from the council after leaving the YSRCP but the TDP did not renominate him.

Hailing from the Anantapur district, Iqbal represented the YSRCP in his unsuccessful fight against TDP’s Nandamuri Balakrishna from Hindupur in the 2019 Assembly elections.

The YSRCP later gave him a council berth, which he resigned ahead of the general elections.

Also Read: YSRCP MP accuses TDP of engaging in ‘organised violence’ 

Charting his course

Ramachandraiah is a chartered account from Gudlavaripally in Lakkiredypally Mandal in the Annamayya district. Originally a TDP leader, he had won the Assembly election in 1985 from Kadapa. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha twice as a TDP candidate and served as the party’s politburo member in the past.

Ramachandraiah left the TDP and joined the Praja Rajyam Party in 2008 founded by film actor Chiranjeevi. After the thespian merged his party with the Congress, Ramachandraiah automatically became its member.

He served as a minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy Cabinet in 2011. In 2018, he joined the YSRCP and served as its general secretary and official spokesperson. He was elected to the legislative council in 2021 but he left the party in January 2024, which led to his disqualification.

Jana Sena MLC nominee P Hariprasad comes from Eluru in West Godavri. He worked as a journalist in various capacities in both print and electronic media for more than two decades. He joined JSP after Pwan Kalyan founded the party in 2014 and has been his political secretary ever since.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).

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