Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s son and IT Minister Nara Lokesh will contest from Mangalagiri to step into AP Legislative Assembly by going to the direct elections scheduled on April 11.
The decision, taken after weighing several options, came as a relief to the party cadres in Visakhapatnam district from which the IT Minister was expected to contest. It is speculated that he would be fielded from Bheemunipatnam (Bhimili), which is presently represented by HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, or from Visakhapatnam North, represented by the BJP Floor Leader in the Assembly P Vishnu Kumar Raju.
Ganta was somewhat perturbed when he was asked to leave Bhimili in favour of Lokesh and contest from Vizag Lok Sabha seat. Same was the case with the aspirants for the Vizag North seat. But with the Chief Minister deciding to keep his son at home in Undavalli under the Mangalagiri constituency, the party circles here heaved a sigh of relief. In particular, Sribharat, grandson of late MVVS Murthy and Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, both former MPs, is also aspiring for Lok Sabha ticket. Had Lokesh wanted to contest from Vizag, the chances for Sribharat, who is also son-in-law of Nandamuri Balakrishna, will be dwindled as both belong to the same community. It is yet to be seen if Sribharat gets the nod to contest.
Unlike Ganta, Sidda Raghavarao, who wanted the Darsi seat, is denied it and will now be field from Ongole Parliamentary constituency. Another senior leader and Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao may also be denied the Sattenapalli Assembly ticket as there is a lot of opposition from the partymen. He is apparently being asked to contest the Narasaraopeta Lok Sabha seat.
The opposition to several sitting MLAs will hit a new high when a worker threatened self-immolation in front of Chandrababu Naidu’s residence on Wednesday, if the sitting MLA Prabhakar Choudhary is renominated in Anantapur city.