Hyderabad: The TDP has in principle decided not to field its candidate for the October 13 by-election to Banswada Assembly seat in Andhra Pradesh`s Nizamabad district.
Majority of the party leaders, who held informal discussions with TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu here today, felt they should stay away from the contest to send a clear message that the party was in support of the Telangana statehood cause, party sources said.
Also, the bitter experience of last year`s by-elections, where the party candidates lost deposits in all the 12 seats, also weighed heavily on the TDP leadership`s mind, prompting it to opt out of the race this time, they said.
A formal announcement on the TDP`s stand is expected to be made in a day or two after senior leaders hold further deliberations, party sources said.
By-election to Banswada Assembly seat was necessitated due to the resignation of sitting TDP MLA Pocharam Srinivasa Reddy, who also quit the party and joined the Telangana Rashtra Samiti demanding creation of a separate state.
The TDP has been facing flak in Telangana for being "insincere" on the statehood issue. The party`s ambivalent stand has vastly eroded its base in the region, once its stronghold besides triggering an exodus of several prominent leaders from TDP.
To arrest this trend and showcase their "commitment" towards Telangana, all the 37 TDP MLAs from the region took the initiative and tendered resignations from their posts in July but Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar promptly rejected
They offered to submit their resignations afresh but with the condition that the Congress legislators also do the same.
By opting out of the by-election, TDP is also hoping to project an impression that the TRS is interested more in electoral gains rather than achieving the Telangana state, party sources said.
"The Banswada by-election has come at the right time for us to prove our sincerity on Telangana. By not contesting the bypoll, we want to establish that the TDP is not seeking electoral or political gains unlike other parties," a senior leader of TDP Telangana Forum said.