In a surprise development, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party on Tuesday decided to field its candidate for the March 26 Rajya Sabha biennial election from Andhra Pradesh though it lacks the requisite numbers to win a seat. Also Read - TMC Wants Fresh Faces in Rajya Sabha, Prashant Kishor Among Candidates: Reports
The TDP’s entry into the fray makes election inevitable contrary to the hopes of the ruling YSR Congress that it would be a unanimous affair. Also Read - Biennial Elections For 55 Rajya Sabha Seats From 17 States to be Held on March 26 - Here's Full List of Retiring RS Members
“Not that we will win or are we expecting any cross-voting… we want to expose the double standards of this government. What they promised (before general elections) and what they have been doing (after assuming power) we want people to understand,” TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu told a press conference in Amaravati. Also Read - Congress Mulls Sending Priyanka Gandhi to Rajya Sabha, Move to Counter BJP in House
He named party general secretary Varla Ramaiah as their candidate for the Rajya Sabha election.
The TDP, for the record, has 23 MLAs in the 175-member state assembly but two of them have rebelled against the party.
Though they did not formally join the YSRC, the two MLAs have been virtually sailing with it.
As at least 43 votes are required to win a Rajya Sabha seat, the TDP does not stand any chance as the YSRC has a formidable strength of 151 of its own.
But the fifth candidate in the fray will make the election inevitable.
If the YSRC legislators feel what we have done is good, they will vote for TDP. If they fear Jagan, they will vote for YSRC. We will not approach anyone for votes, Naidu said, when asked about their candidate’s prospects.
He said theirs was “a just stand” and the YSRC legislators should decide if their selection was right or wrong.
The YSRC has already named four candidates for as many seats as it could win.
They will file their nominations on Wednesday.
In all four seats in the Upper House of Parliament will fall vacant from Andhra Pradesh on April 9 when the sitting members retire at the end of their six-year term.