As expected, the announcement of candidates for Kurnool Lok Sabha seat and local assembly seat by Telugu Desam Party general secretary and Andhra Pradesh IT minister Nara Lokesh a couple of days ago triggered unrest in the party.
During his recent visit to Kurnool, Lokesh announced the names of sitting MP Butta Renuka and sitting MLA S V Mohan Reddy as the party candidates for Kurnool Lok Sabha and assembly seats respectively. He called upon the voters to elect both the leaders with a thumping majority.
This has angered TDP’s Rajya Sabha member T G Venkatesh, who has been lobbying for Kurnool MLA seat to his son T G Bharat.
For the last couple of years, Bharat has been nurturing the assembly constituency hoping that he would get the party ticket next time in place of S V Mohan Reddy, who had defected from YSRC to the TDP.
Last year, Bharat and Mohan Reddy entered into a virtual clash over the seat. While Bharat said he would be contesting from Kurnool in the next elections, as he was born and brought up in Kurnool, unlike Mohan Reddy who was a non-local. But Mohan Reddy ridiculed Bharat’s claim and said he would contest only from Kurnool in the next elections.
Under these circumstances, the announcement from Lokesh in favour of Mohan Reddy severely upset TG family.
On Wednesday, Venkatesh questioned the authority of Lokesh in announcing the candidates well in advance.
“I was shocked. Lokesh is not the party president to decide. Secondly, the party had never announced candidates for select seats well in advance. How can Lokesh take a decision so unilaterally, that too, at an official programme? He must have been hypnotised by Mohan Reddy,” Venkatesh said.
Mohan Reddy, however, says Lokesh had every right to announce names as he was the party’s national general secretary.
“When TG was given the Rajya Sabha ticket, the assurance given to me was that I would be fielded again as the MLA. So, there is no surprise in the announcement. I have no disputes with TG family,” the MLA said.