The Telugu Desam Party is understood to have decided to back the candidature of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for Rajya Sabha from Andhra Pradesh, accepting a request from ally BJP. The biennial elections are slated for June 11. The state's ruling TDP continued to maintain suspense on whether or not it will field a fourth candidate to make a contest inevitable. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who held meetings with party legislators at Tirupati earlier in the day and the members of politburo late tonight, decided to hold one more round of talks before taking a final call on the Rajya Sabha seats.
He, however, was said to have told his party colleagues that he had accepted BJP's request for fielding Suresh Prabhu, currently Rajya Sabha member from Haryana, from the state. The TDP's candidates will be announced tomorrow, just a day before the nomination process ends. Naidu, it was learnt, will meet 17 MLAs of YSR Congress, who recently defected to the TDP, here tomorrow before deciding on fielding a fourth candidate.
TDP can comfortably win three of the four seats falling vacant in the state on its own but wants to thwart the lone opposition YSRC's maiden bid to win a Rajya Sabha seat. Accomodating BJP's Prabhu will mean one seat less for TDP. The YSRC, which has been left with 50 MLAs after the defections, has already fielded its general secretary V Vijaysai Reddy for the Rajya Sabha election.