VISAKHAPATNAM: The TDP is planning to field Nara Lokesh , son of chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu , from the Visakhapatnam North seat in the forthcoming elections to the state assembly, top party sources told TOI. The seat is currently represented by Penumetsa Vishnu Kumar Raju of the BJP. “Raju has been trying to convince Naidu to give him the ticket as he is willing to leave the BJP and join the TDP. But the CM is looking for a safe seat for his son,” a senior TDP leader said.
He further said that Ganta Srinivasa Rao wants to defend his Bheemunipatnam assembly seat, but the party leadership has doubts whether Rao, the state HRD minister, would be able to retain the seat. That’s because Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, popularly known as Avanthi Srinivas, is likely to be fielded by the YSRC candidate from Bheemili.
Avanthi Srinivas was the Lok Sabha member for Anakapalle, but he recently left the TDP to join YSRC, apparently on the condition that he be given the ticket to contest from Bheemunipatnam. He had been elected to the AP legislative assembly on Praja Rajyam Party ticket in 2009. The PRP subsequently merged with the Congress.
“Ganta Srinivasa Rao argued with Naidu for Bheemili seat, but Naidu smilingly told him at a recent meeting that he needs the HRD minister’s services in Delhi, so he should be ready to contest the LS seat,” the TDP leader said. With Ganta almost certain to be fielded from Vizag LS seat, the political ambitions of M Sribharat will get a jolt.
If Lokesh is fielded from Vizag North , it would be difficult for Naidu to justify giving the LS ticket to Sribharat because Lokesh and Sribharat are brothers-in-law, he added. Both married the daughters of Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is also the brother-in-law of Naidu.