Will Nara Lokesh again contest from Mangalagiri in the 2024 elections? Unlikely, say TDP insiders. The shock defeat in 2019 from Mangalagiri is the biggest political setback that Lokesh has faced and those in the know say that Lokesh has not visited the constituency in two years. The defeat was so shocking for him that he has lost interest in the constituency.
In 2019, he entered the Mangalagiri fray at the last moment. But he soon realised that YSRCP candidate and arch rival Alla Ramakrishna Reddy was no pushover . Though he tried hard, the tide had already turned against the TDP. When the votes were counted, RK managed to pip past Lokesh. This crushing defeat had devastated both Lokesh and the TDP as well.
There is another reason why Lokesh may not go back to Mangalagiri in 2024. One of the key TDP leaders from the constituency, former minister and APCO former chairperson Murugudu Hanumantha Rao has left the TDP. This locally powerful leader was the mainstay of Lokesh Babu's campaign. But, he has of late been keeping a low profile. For the past one year, he has kept away from the party activities. He has been sulking that the party did not give him any position of respect. He said that Chandrababu has completely ignored him after the assembly elections. He said he would take a decision on his future course of action. Sources say he is likely to join the YSRCP.
Murugudu has considerable influence in Mangalagiri. His absence might severely affect the TDP prospects in the constituency. Hence Lokesh will in all likelihood not contest from Mangalagiri. Meanwhile, the party is said to be looking for a safe constituency for Lokesh Babu as winning in 2024 is crucial for his political survival.