Amaravati: With some senior leaders deserting the party in the run up to the polls, the list of candidates released by the Congress for the April 11 Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh show several first-timers and only few notable faces.
There were just five notable faces in the list of 22 Lok Sabha candidates and a mere two among the 132 Assembly nominees. State Congress chief N Raghuveera Reddy and former minister Sake Sailajanath are the only two known faces in the Assembly candidates list.
Former Union ministers MM Pallam Raju, Chinta Mohan and JD Seelam, former MP Kanumuri Bapiraju and AICC secretary Sheik Mastanvali are the prominent candidates being fielded for the Lok Sabha.
These were the only leaders who did not leave the party post-bifurcation of the State in 2014 though the Congress was left buried by the Andhra Pradesh electorate.Though former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy returned to the Congress last year, he too has not been active in the party.The State Congress claimed over 1,300 applications were received for party tickets this time.
The Congress polled just 2.77 per cent votes in the Assembly and 2.8 per cent in the Lok Sabha elections in the State in 2014, with almost all candidates losing their security deposits.
The Congress-TDP combine received a severe drubbing in the Telangana Assembly elections in December last.The Congress is going it alone in the polls. Veteran Congress leader and former Union minister V Kishore Chandra Deo recently joined the TDP. The Telugu Desam Party has given him the Lok Sabha ticket from Araku (ST) constituency. Former Union ministers Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and Panabaka Lakshmi, who, too, quit the Congress in recent days, have been nominated from Kurnool and Tirupati (SC) respectively.