After successfully overcoming the hurdles in the way of seat-sharing with the BJP, the TDP leadership is now faced with the uphill task of making party rebels withdraw from the fray. In as many as 20 Assembly constituencies TDP rebels have filed nominations against the official candidates.
Despite appeal from party chief N Chandrababu Naidu, the rebels are in no mood to withdraw their nominations. The TDP leaders are making efforts to persuade them to withdraw from the contest but they are not making much progress.
This apart, the presence of TDP rebels in constituencies allotted to the BJP has come as a major embarrassment to the yellow party. At three places, Guntakal, Santanutalapadu and Kadapa, the TDP candidates filed nomination papers with B forms though they have been allotted to the BJP. In Kaikaluru a TDP rebel is in fray. Though party leaders have initiated dialogue it is not clear if they will withdraw from the contest.
TDP sources said that in Guntakal, Santanutalapadu and Kadapa, there is a possibility that TDP candidates will withdraw from the contest. They were issued B forms because at that point of time the alliance between the BJP and the TDP seemed on the rocks. The candidates accordingly filed nomination papers with B forms. As there is time for withdrawal, the TDP leadership thought, they would be able to persuade them to pull out of contest.
The TDP is also busy grappling with the problem of rebels against its official candidates. Prominent among those who filed nominations as independents against the party candidates include Proddatur sitting MLA M Linga Reddy, Kovur MLA TV Rama Rao, former MLA Balli Durga Prasada Rao (Gudur), Myla Veera Raju (Narsapur), Nimmala Rajanarayna(Sattenapalli), Veerayya (Prathipadu), Balakrishna Aditya (Satyavedu), Anita Sakru (Bheemili), V Srinivas Yadav (Guntur East), T Satyanarayana alias Babji (Palakola), Nimmaka Jayaraju (Kurupam-ST)), K Trimurthula Raju (Cheepurupalli ), K Veeraiah (Prathipadu-SC)), Ravibabu (Araku) and S Vijaya Kumar (Yelamanchili).
Most of them have filed nominations as rebels because they were upset over the party allotting ticket to those who joined the party from other parties in the eleventh hour, ignoring the services they had rendered tothe party over a period of time.
For instance, senior party leader Linga Reddy was hurt when the party ticket was denied to him and was given to his rival from Congress N Varadarajulu Reddy who joined the TDP recently. Linga Reddy’s supporters on Sunday staged protest in the constituency. They even locked party MLC SV Satish Kumar Reddy and Kadapa MP candidate R Srinivasulu Reddy when the two leaders went to Linga Reddy’s residence to persuade him to withdraw from the contest.
Anita Sakru, who was expecting to contest from the Bheemili, was disappointed as the party leadership allotted the ticket to Ganta Srinivasa Rao who defected from the Congress.