Amaravati: The Bharatiya Janata Party Sunday announced its first list of 123 candidates for the elections to the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly scheduled for April 11.
Only one of the three sitting MLAs of the BJP, which is fighting the elections on its own, has been re-nominated as the other two have opted out of the contest.
BJPs fourth MLA, elected in 2014, had quit the party to join the Jana Sena and has been fielded by it for the Rajamahendravaram Lok Sabha constituency.
The BJP is hoping to improve on its tally of four in 2014, while the main contest will be between the ruling Telugu Desam Party and the main opposition YSR Congress, headed by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
A sitting MLA who defected from the YSR Congress to Telugu Desam and later to the BJP has been given the ticket in the first list of the saffron party.
P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, who was elected to the assembly for the first time in 2014 from Visakhapatnam North, has been re-nominated.
Sitting MLA P. Manikyala Rao from Tadepalligudem showed no interest in contesting again, while another, Kamineni Srinivas, from Kaikaluru has announced his decision to quit electoral politics.
Incidentally, both of them have served as ministers in the Chandrababu Naidu Cabinet when the TDP and the BJP were in an alliance from 2014 to 2018.
T. Jayaramulu has been chosen for the Badwel (SC) seat in Kadapa district. He was elected in 2014 on a YSRC ticket but he moved to the TDP in 2016. Just a couple of days ago, he quit the TDP and joined the BJP.
Former MLA Nimmaka Jayaraju has been chosen for the Kurupam (ST) seat while senior politician Kandula Rajamohan Reddy has been nominated for Kadapa.
Industrialist N. S. Tulasinath has been chosen to take on Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Kuppam in Chittoor district.
Former Mayor of Visakhapatnam city, Pulusu Janardhan, has been given the Gajuwaka Assembly ticket.
State BJP general secretary V. Satyamurthy will be the candidate from Vijayawada Central while BJYM national secretary Panthala Suresh is being fielded from the Koduru (SC) constituency.
The BJP fought the 2014 election in an alliance with the TDP and with the outside support of Jana Sena of film star Pawan Kalyan.
It had contested 15 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats as part of the alliance and has won four and two seats respectively.
With the TDP breaking ties over the issue of a special category status to Andhra Pradesh, the BJP is now fighting the elections on its own.