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Former minister Kasi Reddy quits TDP

Special Correspondent

Likely to join Congress to improve its chances of victory in Kanigiri


Sequel to denial of party ticket to him

TDP already loses senior leaders in the district


ONGOLE: The Telugu Desam Party received another blow in Prakasam district with the resignation of former minister and former zilla parishad chairman, Mukku Kasi Reddy, on Wednesday. Reports indicate that he is planning to join the Congress to bolster its chances of victory in Kanigiri Assembly segment.

The TDP has already lost senior leaders like Bachina Chenchu Garataiah to the Congress and Pidatala Sai Kalpana Reddy and Paleti Rama Rao to the PRP affecting its chances of victory in Addanki, Giddalur and Chirala Assembly segments. Yet another former minister, Jagarlamudi Lakshmi Padmavathi, who could not get the TDP ticket to contest for Perchoor Assembly seat, is sulking.

Uncertainty

Mr. Kasi Reddy has been facing uncertainty ever since pearl merchant Babu Rao was staking claim for Kanigiri seat with the blessings of cine actor N. Balakrishna. The TDP kept him on tenterhooks without deciding on the issue for several months. When Mr. Balakrishna visited the district in March, the party entrusted the responsibility of organising the event with Mr. Babu Rao. It became clear to Mr. Kasi Reddy that he would not get party ticket to contest. He still decided to continue with the TDP. The party ultimately chose Mr. Babu Rao as its candidate for Kanigiri seat. But election officials rejected his nomination on technical grounds that he did not sign the affidavit. It was ironical that the party was left without a candidate for Kanigiri seat in spite of bitter struggle for party ticket within the party.

Gamsheer and R. Srinivasa Reddy, the two henchmen of Mr. Baburao, however, filed their nominations as independents mainly to get more vehicle passes and agent passes for their boss. Mr. Kasi Reddy felt that the party should declare Mr. Gamsheer as its candidate to give tough fight to the Congress with the help of minority votes numbering nearly 30,000 in the constituency. But the party did not consult him even after Mr. Babu Rao fiasco nor consider his suggestion seriously. Mr. Kasi Reddy, who felt irked that the party cadre are getting scattered, decided to severe his 27-year association with the TDP.

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