The three Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh are all set to be unanimous with the TDP fielding two candidates and the Opposition YSR Congress fielding one. On the last day of the nominations, TDP candidates C M Ramesh and K Ravindra Kumar field their nominations. YSR Congress candidate V Prabhakar Reddy had filed his papers on March 8.
As the last day for withdrawals of nomination is slated for March 15, the election officials are likely to declare the three candidates elected unopposed, giving a sigh of relief to the parties and the candidates.
Given the strength of the MLAs and the number of seats going for elections, the TDP will get two leaving one for the YSR Congress. However, initially, the TDP had explored the possibilities of fielding a third candidate as it had the support of 23 YSR Congress MLAs who have defected to the TDP. The party leaders have also sent feelers to YSR Congress leader Chalamalasetti Sunil from Kakinada to be ready to be the third candidate in the RS elections.
The TDP had asked him to get six MLAs from the YSR Congress to be the official third candidate of the TDP. Interestingly, Sunil, who had contested unsuccessfully from Kakinada Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 on YSR Congress and lost in less than 1000 votes, held talks with some of the YSR Congress MLAs, forcing the YSR Congress to take all the 44 MLAs on a tour to save its face.
Having lost the direct support of the YSR Congress, the TDP had advised Sunil to file his nomination papers as independent candidate with the support of the 23 defected YSR Congress MLAs. However, the BJP, which had pulled out of the State cabinet had hinted at being neutral in the RS elections and cautioned the TDP of fielding the third candidate. The negative signals from the BJP had made the TDP to drop the proposal of fielding Sunil as independent candidate.