Amaravati: The ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday night released its first list of 126 candidates for the April 11 assembly election, amid unprecedented protests and rebellion in the party. Name of Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh figured in the list announced by Naidu himself at a late-night press conference.
He called it “Mission 150 Plus”, as the party aimed to win at least 150 out of the total 175 seats in the assembly. He said the first list of candidates for the Lok Sabha election, scheduled simultaneously, would be announced Friday.
The TDP chief, who released an audio song for the campaign, said he would kick start the campaign from Srikakulam district on March 16 after worshipping Lord Venkateswara atop the Tirumala Hills. “We have balanced various equations and selected the candidates. It is now up to the people to bless these candidates as I take the responsibility of their future in my hands,” Naidu said. Despite strong opposition, the TDP re-nominated Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao from Sattenapalli constituency in Guntur district. Deputy Chief Minister K E Krishna Murthy and Women Welfare Minister Paritala Sunitha opted out of the contest this time to enable their sons jump into the field. Naidu’s son Lokesh too will be fighting his first electoral battle from Mangalagiri constituency in the Amravati capital region. Like his father, Lokesh chose a constituency that has a predominant backward class population. Naidu will be contesting the assembly election for the seventh time from Kuppam in his native Chittoor district. Meanwhile, former Union minister Panabaka Lakshmi and her husband Krishnaiah joined the TDP after midnight. The couple so far served the Congress party.