RRR, Bandaru, MS Raju and Giddi Eswari get tickets

AMARAVATI: Even as the process of nominating candidates for the simultaneous elections in Andhra Pradesh has begun, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has made last-minute changes to four Assembly candidates it had announced earlier.

TDP supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu made the announcement during the meeting of zonal in-charges here at the party headquarters.

According to the announcement, sitting YSR Congress MP Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Raju (RRR) from Narasapuram will now contest as TDP candidate for the Undi Assembly seat in the same district. Initially, TDP wanted to field RRR from Narasapuram Lok Sabha seat. However, the BJP leadership did not agree to spare the seat as it went to the BJP under the NDA alliance. BJP then handed over the B form to its candidate Srinivasa Verma. RRR’s wife Rama Devi filed a batch of nomination papers on behalf of her husband last Friday.

TDP also replaced its candidate Paila Prasada Rao and an NRI in Madugu, Anakapalli district. Considering his lack of drive and influence in the constituency, Naidu decided to replace him with party leader and former minister Bandaru Satyanarayanamurthy. Bandaru recently met Naidu and expressed his displeasure over being left out without a nomination.

TDP also changed Madakasira (SC) Sri Satyasai district candidate Anil Kumar under pressure from former MLC Thippeswamy’s faction. The head of the new TDP Dalit wing, MS Raju of Anantapur district, will now contest from this seat.

Finally, TDP K Venkata changed Ramesh Naidu as Paderu Assembly candidate and replaced him with turncoat leader from YSRCP Giddi Eswari. She is TDP and is in charge of Paderu. On April 4, Eswari decided to contest as an independent after being denied a nomination by the TDP.

Eswari, a teacher by profession, was elected YCP MLA from Paderu (ST) constituency in 2014. Later she joined the TDP.