Vastavam web: With some senior leaders deserting the party in the run up to the polls, the list of candidates released by the Congress for the April 11 Lok Sabha and State assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh show several first-timers and only few notable faces. There were just five notable faces in the list of 22 Lok Sabha candidates and a mere two among 132 Assembly nominees.
State Congress chief N Raghuveera Reddy and former minister Sake Sailajanath are the only two known faces in the Assembly candidates list. Former Union Ministers M M Pallam Raju, Chinta Mohan and J D Seelam, former MP Kanumuri Bapiraju and AICC secretary Sheik Mastanvali are the prominent candidates being fielded for Lok Sabha. Though former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy returned to the Congress last year, he too has not been active in the party.
The state Congress claimed over 1,300 applications were received for party tickets this time. The Congress polled just 2.77 per cent votes in the Assembly and 2.8 per cent in Lok Sabha elections in the state in 2014, with almost all candidates losing their security deposits. The Congress-TDP combine received a severe drubbing in the Telangana Assembly elections in December last. The Telugu Desam Party has given him the Lok Sabha ticket from Araku (ST) constituency.