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Andhra Pradesh Rajya Sabha Polls: Defections, Fissures in BJP-TDP Alliance May Lead to Close Fight

The YSR Congress has alleged that the TDP is trying to lure its MLAs by offering a huge amount of money to win the third Rajya Sabha seat also. The numbers explain why there is a tough fight for the third Rajya Sabha seat.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:February 26, 2018, 2:52 PM IST
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Andhra Pradesh Rajya Sabha Polls: Defections, Fissures in BJP-TDP Alliance May Lead to Close Fight
YSRCP chief Jagan Mohan Reddy.
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Hyderabad: Three Rajya Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh will go to polls on March 23. Going by the numbers, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) should grab two seats while main opposition YSR Congress may clinch the remaining one. But defections of MLAs mean that the picture might not be that clear.

The YSR Congress has alleged that the TDP is trying to lure its MLAs by offering a huge amount of money to win the third Rajya Sabha seat also. The numbers explain why there is a tough fight for the third Rajya Sabha seat.

Andhra Pradesh has 175 MLAs and to win each Rajya Sabha seat parties need the support of 44 legislators. After 2014 elections, the TDP won the majority with 103 seats and the YSR Congress bagged 67 seats. But in past few months, 23 YSR Congress MLAs have defected to the ruling TDP, bringing down the strength of the Jagan Reddy led outfit to just 44 MLAs.

The TDP can easily win two seats with 88 MLAs. But for the third seat, the Chandrababu Naidu led party is short of only one MLA, with the support of 43 legislators.

Speaking to CNN News18, YSRCP MP and general secretary Vijay Sai Reddy said, "In the current scenario, YSRCP is winning one Rajya Sabha seat with 44 MLAs. But the TDP is trying to lure our MLAs by offering huge money. The TDP has already defected 23 of our MLAs unconstitutionally. If they continue with their tactics, we will teach them a lesson this time."

The YSR Congress has officially declared industrialist Vemireddy Prabhakar Reddy as its candidate. The party is confident that the remaining 44 MLAs will not switch sides.

Despite several complains by the YSR Congress, no action has been taken against the illegal defections in the state till now.

At a time when YSRCP is making all efforts to mount the pressure on the ruling TDP over the issue of "special status", winning the Rajya seat has become important for it to send out a strong message.

The TDP is yet to officially announce their Rajya Sabha nominees. The decision will depend on the future course of TDP-BJP alliance also. TDP has given March 5 as a deadline to the BJP to fulfil promises it made in AP Reorganization Act.

It will be interesting to see, whether TDP announces two or three candidates.

| Edited by: Puja Menon
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