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Ticket denial triggers protest

By Our Special Correspondent

RAJAHMUNDRY, MARCH 24. The BJP in the district seems to be facing all sorts of troubles, thanks to the selection of candidates for the Rajahmundry Lok Sabha and the Kadiam Assembly seats. On hearing news that, as part of alliance with the TDP, the Kadiam seat was allotted to the BJP and the party had selected its State unit vice-president, Somu Veeraraju, for the seat, supporters of Girijala Venkataswami Naidu, strong contender for the Kadiam ticket, went on rampage in Kadiam and other parts of the Assembly segment last night and destroyed a pedestal with party flag at the Bridge centre in Kadiam and staged a rasta roko for more than two hours causing traffic problem. Frenzied scenes were witnessed and there was tension at the centre.

They shouted slogans against Mr. Veeraraju and burnt his effigy. It was Mr. Naidu who won the seat for the BJP without support of the TDP in 1998. He became a `victim' of group rivalry in the 1999 Assembly elections and lost the seat by a small margin.

Interestingly, supporters of the former MLA and an aspirant for the TDP ticket for Kadiam Assembly seat, Vedde Veerabhadra Rao, on Wednesday staged a dharna in Katheru, the native place of Mr. Veeraraju, demanding that Kadiam ticket be given to the TDP. Later they staged rasta roko and dharnas at Rajanagaram, Bommuru, Vemagiri and Kadiam.

Meanwhile, supporters of the former MP (BJP) from Rajahmundry, S.B.P.B.K. Satyanarayana Rao, who went to Hyderabad and represented to the party high command, are mobilising the cadre for the final showdown. Mr. Satyanarayana Rao, who commands influence in all the seven Assembly segments that constitute Rajahmundry Lok Sabha constituency, was denied party ticket and in his place, Kantipudi Sarvarayudu was selected.

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