The Telugu Desam Party on Thursday night announced its first list of candidates, containing 126 names, for next month’s Assembly elections, The News Minute reported. Apart from Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim will also hold Assembly elections along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party President N Chandrababu Naidu declared the list after the Politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body, approved the names. Naidu, who will seek re-election from Kuppam in his Chittoor district, said the party was looking to win at least 150 seats in the 175-member Assembly, calling it “Mission 150 plus”.
The TDP chief, who also released an audio song for the party’s election campaign, said he would launch the campaign from Srikakulam district on March 16 after visiting the Tirupati temple, NDTV reported. “We have balanced various equations and selected the candidates,” Naidu said. “It is now up to the people to bless these candidates as I take the responsibility of their future in my hands.”
Among the big names in the first list is the chief minister’s son and state minister Nara Lokesh, who will contest from Mangalagiri in Amaravati. Lokesh is a member of the Legislative Council at present, and will be making his debut in a direct election. Actor Balakrishna, who is Naidu’s brother-in-law and Lokesh’s father-in-law, has been nominated again from Hindupur.
The chief minister has also given tickets to Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, who will contest from Tuni in East Godavari district. Education Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao will seek re-election from Visakhapatnam North while Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya, the youngest minister in the state cabinet, will contest from her home turf Allagadda in Kurnool district.
The Assembly elections and the general elections – the state has 25 Lok Sabha constituencies – will be held in a single phase on April 11.