The ruling Telugu Desam Party suffered a setback with senior leaders leaving the party and joining the opposition YSR Congress. Former minister Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, former MLA Modugula Venugopala Reddy and TDP founder member Dasari Jairamesh, were among those who joined the YSR Congress in the presence of Jaganmohan Reddy.
While It is not known whether the party would field Dadi Veerabhadra Rao in this election, the sources say that both Dasari Jairamesh and Modugula Venugopala Reddy are likely to be the party candidates for the Parliament elections. Sources indicate that Dasari Jairamesh would be the party candidate for Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency. He lost this seat on TDP ticket in 1998 against former Union minister Parvathaneni Upendra. He is now trying to win this time against the TDP, which used his money for more than two decades.
Modugula Venugopala Reddy, a former MP from the Narasaraopet Lok Sabha constituency is tipped for Guntur OR Narasaraopet this time. The party chief is not decided yet on the constituency, while Modugula prefers Narasaraopet. However, he is also equally firm on contesting Guntur and defeat TDP MP Galla Jayadev, who forced his exit from the TDP.
Modugula is not happy with the TDP for its alliance with the Congress. He is the victim of Congress violence on the MPs who opposed the State bifurcation in 2013-14. He was beaten up by the Congress MPs when he and other MPs from AP were protesting on the floor of Lok Sabha. Those bitter moments were still afresh in the minds of the MPs and Venugopala Reddy was not able to digest this.
He had questioned the TDP chief for alliance with the Congress. “We have welcomed the TDP when it quit the NDA and distanced from the BJP. But, we are not happy with the TDP for forging alliance with the Congress,” he told the media persons after joining the YSR Congress. He is now firm on teaching a lesson to the TDP and the Congress and it would be his electoral issue either from Guntur or Narasaraopet.
Though bifurcation is not an issue this time in the elections, the special category status and the injustice done to the State in the name of bifurcation are core issues that would help Modugula to win this time.