VIJAYAWADA: Contrary to his practice of maintaining suspense over the list of candidates for the polls till the last minute, TDP supremo and Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu began finalising the candidates for the Assembly constituencies.
Though elections are one and a half years away, Naidu expedited reviewing the political situation with leaders in-charge of constituencies and also confirmed party tickets to most of them.
According to party sources, as of Thursday, Naidu completed reviews with 83 leaders. It was learnt that he had assured seats to around 70 of them to contest the 2024 elections. Stating that Naidu had already assured tickets to all sitting MLAs, a senior TDP leader told TNIE that the party chief giving clarity on tickets was to prepare the leaders for the election.
Naidu held one-on-one meetings with the leaders, shared survey reports, and gave necessary suggestions for improving their performance. While assuring tickets to ‘performers’ in the party membership drive, and those who took party activities forward and alerted the electorate of the YSRC government’s ‘anti-people’ policies, Naidu cautioned the underperformers and categorically told them that he would look for alternatives if they did not ramp up their performance.
However, the exercise so far appeared to be not fulfilling the assurance of giving 40 per cent of tickets to youth. Sources said of most constituency in-charges who had met Naidu were senior leaders and were elected as MLAs at least once in the past.
But, they added that the party was yet to appoint in-charges for 30-odd constituencies, and young faces might have a chance to contest from the majority of those constituencies. Moreover, several young leaders, who had contested the 2019 elections, would also be given a second chance to take the YSRC head-on at the 2024 Assembly polls.
Win prestigious for Naidu, MUST for TDP
In 2019, the TDP managed to win only 23 seats out of the total 175. Four MLAs later crossed floors to YSRC. The 2024 polls will be crucial for TDP and prestigious for Naidu, who will be 74 by the time Andhra Pradesh will go to the polling booths