October 24, 2018
Well-known industrialist and former MLA Bollineni Krishnaiah has joined Telugu Desam Party in the presence of CM Chandrababu Naidu. He is expected to contest from Atmakur assembly constituency in Nellore district in 2019 elections.
Naidu is bringing in Krishnaiah in order to give a tight fight to the Mekapati family who is likely to renominate sitting MLA Gautham Reddy in contest once again on YCP ticket. Gautham’s father Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy is Nellore MP and they are known for enjoying utmost trust during YSR regime and later with Jagan.
Bollineni’s strong business background is considered an asset for TDP to take on the affluent Mekapati family. TDP is not favouring renomination of Guturu Kanna Babu over whom YCP Gautham Reddy won with a massive majority of 31,412 votes in 2014 when YSR sentiment was strong in Nellore district just like Telangana sentiment in the other Telugu state.
Political circles are rife with rumours that Bollineni Krishnaiah will stand to gain this time in 2019 considering the polarisation of pro-TDP voters which include ‘kammas’, ‘backward classes’, ‘muslim minorities’ and ‘tribals’. Besides, a section of Reddys may also support Bollineni after Jaganmohan Reddy gave wrong treatment to ZP Chairperson Bommireddy Raghavendra Reddy who quit YCP recently.
With the entry of Bollineni, the Atmakur segment will witness a high-profile fight between two business tycoons which means there will be use of money power excessively. Bollineni Krishnaiah won from Atmakur in 1999 on Congress ticket. Later, Krishnaiah unsuccessfully contested in 2004 on BJP ticket when he got 38,950 votes despite BJP being weak in Atmakur segment. At that time, independent Kommi Lakshmaiah Naidu won the seat.
In 2009, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy won from Atmakur and he became Finance Minister. However, he lost in 2014 to YCP Gautham Reddy. Later, Anam joined TDP but again he shifted his loyalties to YCP and he is asking for Venkatagiri seat now where he wants to spend huge amounts to win the seat over sitting TDP MLA by any manner.
As Nellore district is a strong bastion of Jagan, the TDP is hell bent upon changing it. This is why Naidu brought in the likes of Bollineni Krishnaiah to boost party prospects overall. There are already rumours that Minister Narayana may contest from Nellore Town segment. It means another high-profile educationist figuring among TDP contestants.