Over 300 file papers for 22 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra


Hyderabad : Over 300 candidates from different political parties as well as independents have filed their nominations for 22 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, poll officials here said Tuesday.

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These parliamentary constituencies along with 154 assembly segments spread over 14 districts in Telangana and north coastal Andhra Pradesh would go to polls in the first phase on April 16.

The filing of nominations for these seats ended Monday. State election officials said 334 candidates have filed their nominations for the Lok Sabha seats while 2,699 candidates have filed papers for assembly seats.

The authorities were scrutinising the nomination papers Tuesday. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is April 2.

Due to the delay in parties releasing the list of their candidates and also because of confusion among the four-party grand opposition alliance, a majority of candidates filed their papers on the last day. Officials said 271 nominations for Lok Sabha seats and 2,308 nominations for assembly seats were received Monday.

However, many candidates are likely to withdraw from the contest as the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) late Monday agreed to pull out its candidates who filed their papers from the constituencies allotted to its ally Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

The TDP had reportedly issued mandatory “B” form to candidates in 25 assembly segments already allotted to TRS under the seat sharing agreement. This action by TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu was to pressurise the TRS to withdraw from the few constituencies he wanted for his party or for the two Communist parties in the alliance.

Naidu told reporters late Monday that the TDP had left 73 assembly and 13 Lok Sabha seats for its allies and is contesting 221 seats assembly and 29 Lok Sabha seats.

The TRS is contesting 45 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats in the Telangana region while the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) have fielded candidates in 28 assembly and four Lok Sabha constituencies.

“This is the first time since the TDP’s formation that it has left such a large number of seats for its allies,” Naidu said.

The ruling Congress party is contesting all 42 Lok Sabha and 294 assembly seats on its own. Praja Rajyam of the actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi is also contesting all seats. Its emergence as the third major party appears to have changed political equations in the state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Lok Satta Party of former bureaucrat Jaiprakash Narayan are also contesting all the seats on their own.

Those who have filed their nominations for the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls include central ministers S. Jaipal Reddy (Chevella), Renuka Chowdary (Khammam), D. Purandareswari (Visakhapatnam), All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Madhu Yashki Goud (Nizamabad), TDP parliamentary party leader K. Yerran Naidu (Srikakulam), TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao (Mahabubnagar), TRS leader and actress Vijayshanti (Medak), PRP general secretary and film producer Allu Aravind (Ankapalli), PRP leader T. Devender Goud (Malkajgiri) and CPI national secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy (Nalgonda).

The second phase of polls on April 23 will cover 20 Lok Sabha and 150 assembly constituencies in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.