With the Telugu Desam and the Jana Sena joining hands to dislodge the ruling YSRCP in the general elections slated for next March or April in the State, speculation is rife over seat sharing between the two parties. Keen on dethroning Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the two parties have started flexing their muscles and have been holding coordination meetings to chalk out a strategy constituency-wise. The TDP tie-up is expected to result in Jana Sena party to contest from Gajuwaka and Vizag North.
As many as seven Assembly segments – Visakhapatnam South, North, East, West, Gajuwaka, S.Kota, and Bheemunipatnam – fall under the newly carved out Visakhapatnam District, and the Jana Sena is likely to contest from Vizag North and Gajuwaka. It also eyes the Bhimili constituency for which the TDP is said to be not ready. It is learnt the TDP has already decided to field Ganta Srinivasa Rao from the constituency which at present is being represented by former Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, popularly known as Avanthi Srinivas. He came out with flying colours in the polls defeating Sabbam Hari of the TDP by a margin of over 9000 votes.
In the last elections, Ganta Srinivasa Rao contested from Visakha North and scraped through defeating K.K. Raju of the YSRCP by a narrow margin.
In Gajuwaka, Tippala Nagireddy of the YSRCP defeated his nearest rival Pawan Kalyan by a convincing margin of over 16,700 votes, while the TDP was pushed to the third place.
In the last general elections, the two parties had contested separately and put up a dismal show, while the YSRCP made a clean sweep by bagging 151 out of 175 seats. The TDP could score victory in 23 constituencies only and the JSP managed to win only one seat (Razole in East Godavari district). In the newly carved out Visakhapatnam district, the TDP emerged victorious in four constituencies out of seven weathering the Jagan storm, while Jana Sena drew a blank and its Chief Pawan Kalyan himself tasted defeat in the Gajuwaka constituency despite having a huge fan-following.
Meanwhile, the BJP, the other major party in the State, is still undecided on a tie-up though its ally, the Jana Sena, has decided to sail with the TDP. As of now, the saffron party is playing cards close to its chest on alliance and may clear the air soon.
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This article is written by Senior Journalist Lakkoju Nagesh Babu.