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Unknown Shalini Yadav to challenge Modi in Varanasi

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The Samajwadi Party has fielded Shalini Yadav as the joint candidate of the SP-BSP alliance in Varanasi to challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections.

A light-weight candidate, Shalini Yadav has unsuccessfully contested he Mayoral polls in Varanasi on a Congress ticket in 2017.

Shalini Yadav is the daughter of former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Shyamlal Yadav.

Samajwadi Party sources said that none of the senior party leaders in the region were willing to contest against the Prime Minister and the party then decided to field Shalini Yadav who joined the party on Monday evening.

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“I will work to the best of my abilities under the guidance of Akhilesh Yadav and try to wrest the seat from the BJP. The youth is on our side and nothing is impossible if you make the effort,” she told reporters.

The Varanasi seat had been won by Murli Manohar Joshi in 2009 and became a VIP seat in 2014 when Narendra Modi defeated his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a huge margin of over 3.75 lakh votes.

Polling in Varanasi will be held in the last phase of elections on May 19.

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Former A.P. Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao Commits suicide

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Hyderabad: Senior Telugu Desam Party leader and former speaker of Andhra Pradesh Assembly Kodela Siva Prasada Rao was declared dead at a hospital in Hyderabad on Monday amid speculation that he committed suicide. He was 72.

Mystery appeared to shroud the death of Rao as the exact cause of death was not immediately known and a senior police official told PTI that the matter is being investigated.

TDP politburo member Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy said Rao was reportedly brought to the Basavatarakam Cancer hospital by his staff. Rao, a medical doctor, has been a director of the Basavatarakam Cancer hospital.

 

Reddy said he and other TDP leaders visited the hospital after coming to know about the former Andhra speaker’s death. Rao’s daughter, who was present at the hospital, was in a state of shock, and they could not ask her what had happened, Reddy said.

Police investigation was on into the matter, he added.

Rao, who lost the Assembly elections in May this year from Sattenapalli in Guntur district, was the speaker of the Assembly during 2014–19. He was elected to the Assembly from Guntur district on six occasions.

He had been a member of the TDP since its inception and held key portfolios including home, major irrigation, panchayat raj, rural development and health, in the governments of TDP founder late N. T. Rama Rao and incumbent TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Telangana chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, state BJP chief K. Laxman and several other leaders condoled the senior TDP leader’s death.

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has demanded a CBI probe in the apparent suicide of former Andhra Speaker and senior leader of TDP Kodela Siva Prasad Rao.

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