In a surprise move, retired IPS officer and former joint director of the CBI, V V Lakshminarayana, is understood to have dropped his plans to float a new political party. He is likely to join the ruling Telugu Desam Party. It is said TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu had sent his cabinet colleague Ganta Srinivasa Rao to invite Lakshminarayana into the party. Ganta had closeted with Lakshminarayana in Hyderabad on Monday and formally invited this former police officer to join the TDP. It is said that Lakshminarayana will meet Chandrababu Naidu in Amaravati in a day or two and join the TDP. He is tipped for the Bheemili Assembly constituency in the April 11 elections.
Lakshminarayana took voluntary retirement from his service from the Maharastra cadre in 2018. He had initially planned to float his own political party with focus on farmers and youth. He held series of meetings with the farmers and toured extensively in the State. He named his party – Jana Dhwani – and even hired a building in Vijayawada for the party office. He had set several dates to launch his new political outfit, but deferred it every time. He also held talks with Lok Satta chief Jayaprakash Narayana on working together in the State politics. But, he preferred to have his own political party, though Jayaprakash Narayana offered Lok Satta leadership.
Now, after dilly-dallying for several months, he is said to have made up his mind to join the TDP and contest this election. If Lakshminarayana joins the TDP, Chandrababu Naidu is ready to offer the Bheemili Assembly constituency, which is now held by Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao. The sources in the TDP say that Ganta Srinivasa Rao’s candidature is considered for the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency this time for which the Minister too had agreed.
Amid plans of the Chief Minister to field his son Nara Lokesh from Visakhapatnam North Assembly constituency, the TDP chief is giving highest priority to Ganta Srinivasa Rao. The candidature of former CBI joint director is also planned to create a positive mood among the voters that would help the party in the victory of Lokesh and others in the Visakhapatnam Parliament constituency. It is to be seen how this strategy helps the TDP in the impending elections.