The Praja Shanti Party (PSP) led by evangelist KA Paul has in a bid to trick voters has used a rather strange but not uncommon move in the election fray. The party has fielded 39 nominees with almost identical, similar sounding names as those of YSR Congress candidates, in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls and the upcoming Lok Sabha election.
While names of 35 such candidates can be seen the Assembly election nomination list, four cases were found in the general election candidate list as well. In fact, the names of two of Praja Shanti’s Assembly candidates – Bonthu Rajeswara Rao from Razolu constituency and Venkateswara Rao Kodali from Gudivada – are identical in every way to YSRCP’s candidates from these constituencies. Similarly, there are seven PSP candidates whose names are same as those of YSRCP contenders, with only their initials being different.
Reports suggested that Paul’s party selected these candidates at the behest of Telugu Desam Party led by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
Constituency- Candidate name- Party
Razole (A)- Bonthu Rajeswara Rao- YSRCP
Bonthu Rajeswara Rao- PSP
Gudivada (A)- Venkateswara Rao Kodali- YSRCP
Venkateswara Rao Kodali- PSP
Kaikalur (A)- Dulam Nageswara Rao- YSRCP
Dasi Nageswara Rao- PSP
Dharmavaram (A)- Kethireddy Venkatrami Reddy- YSRCP
P Venkatrami Reddy- PSP
Pedakurapadu (A)- Sankara Rao Nambu- YSRCP
Namburi Sankara Rao- PSP
Parchur (A)- Daggubati Venkateswara Rao- YSRCP
Daggubatti Venkateswarlu- PSP
Ongole (LS)- Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy- YSRCP
Srinivasa Reddy Maram- PSP
Nellore (LS)- Adala Prabhakara Reddy- YSRCP
Amancharla Prabhakar- PSP
Upset with this glaring effort to confuse voters, the YSRC on Tuesday complained to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi providing him with a complete list of the 39 Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies where PSP has fielded candidates with identical or similar sounding names. In its complaint, YSRC said that PSP is using all available means to confuse voters in Andhra Pradesh. YSRCP State general secretary MVS Nagireddy, in the complaint, even said that Paul’s party has also chosen the same colours as those of YSRC.
According to a Deccan Chronicle report, in the 2004 elections, there was an instance of voters getting confused over TRS and the Samajwadi Forward Bloc's symbols (car and truck respectively) leading to drifting of votes to latter's candidate and a subsequent drop in the winning margin of TRS. The TRS president and Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had then alleged that similarity between symbols had cost the party a significant number of votes and went on to make changes in the party symbol.
Meanwhile, the YSRC had demanded that EC takes immediate action against PSP and take steps to avoid confusion among voters over candidate names. The YSRC had previously complained about the allotment of a helicopter as the symbol to PSP saying that the helicopter rotor blades had the potential to confuse people with the ceiling fan symbol of YSR Congress, Telangana Today reported.
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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2019 18:15:49 IST