Anantapur: Former Inspector General of Police Shaik Mohammed Iqbal will be contesting with the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) ticket from the Hindupur Assembly constituency.
He will be competing against sitting MLA of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and film star Nandamuri Balakrishna.
Former TDP MLA from Hindupur, Abdul Ghani, who joined YSRCP four months ago was learned to be in contention and reports suggested that he was offered MLA ticket on the reasons of minority background. Even Naveen Nischal from Kapu community, who was away from active politics for a while was also being considered.
However, the YSRCP decided to field the former Police officer from Hindupur. Shaik Mohammed Iqbal shifted his loyalties to YSRCP shortly after his retirement as Rayalaseema Inspector General of Police. With this new development, the political atmosphere in Hindupur is taking a new turn.
Ever since TDP founder NT Rama Rao entered Hindupur in 1985, the constituency has become the home turf for the Telugu Desam Party. NT Rama Rao won thrice as MLA from Hindupur and served as the chief minister twice. He was the Opposition leader and remained the Hindupur MLA till his last breath. Subsequently, NTR's son late Nandamuri Harikrishna was elected as MLA. Currently, NTR's son Nandamuri Balakrishna is representing Hindupur segment.
As per the YSRCP sources, the decision to select Iqbal as the candidate was made after assuring MLC posts to both Naveen Nischal and Abdul Ghani.