Ex-dy speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad is Jana Sena candidate from Andhra Pradesh's Avanigadda

Amaravati, April 4 (IANS) The Jana Sena Party (JSP) on Thursday named former deputy speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly Mandali Buddha Prasad as its candidate for Avanigadda Assembly constituency.

JSP leader Pawan Kalyan approved the candidature of Buddha Prasad after consultation with key leaders of the party.

Buddha Prasad, a leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), had joined alliance partner JSP on April 1.

Buddha Prasad, who was elected from Avanigadda in 1999 and 2004, served as a minister in the Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy cabinet in combined Andhra Pradesh. He also served as the chairman of the AP Official Language Commission. He quit the Congress in protest against the division of the state in 2014 and joined the TDP.

After his election from Avanigadda for a third term in 2014, he was elected Deputy Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly. In 2019, he lost the election to YSRCP's S. Ramesh Babu.

As Avanigadda was one of the seats allotted to JSP under the seat sharing agreement, local TDP leaders have been demanding that Buddha Prasad be fielded.

The JSP also stated that the candidate for Palakonda Assembly constituency will be announced in a couple of days. The party conducted a survey in the constituency on who should be fielded as the candidate for May 13 election.

The JSP is likely to field Nimmaka Jayakrishna, who quit TDP and joined JSP along with Buddha Prasad on April 1.

Jayakrishna had lost to YSRCP's Viswasarayi Kalavathi in 2014 and 2019 in Palakonda.

With Buddha Prasad's candidature from Avanigadda, the JSP has announced candidates for 20 out of 21 Assembly seats it is contesting in alliance with the TDP and BJP.

Meanwhile, the Jana Sena also said that it will soon take a decision on changing the candidate for Railway Koduru (SC) seat. The party had earlier declared Yanamala Bhaskar as its candidate but the party faced criticism from its own cadres after Bhaskar Rao’s photographs and videos with Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy surfaced.

The Jana Sena said in a statement that the survey conducted on Bhaskar's candidature did not yield a positive result. Its alliance partner TDP also did not back its choice. The JSP is carefully reconsidering Bhaskar's candidate.

Pawan Kalyan, who is contesting for Assembly from Pithapuram, has also announced candidates for both Kakinada and Machilipatnam Lok Sabha seats.

Simultaneous elections to the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats are scheduled on May 13.

Under the seat sharing agreement among NDA partners, TDP is contesting 144 Assembly and 17 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP is fielding candidates in 10 Assembly and six Lok Sabha constituencies.

--IANS

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