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Andhra Pradesh - Karimnagar Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Rebel threat looms large

By K.M. Dayashankar


KARIMNAGAR, MARCH 29. Infighting in the Congress, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the TDP and the Bharatiya Janata Party over the allocation of the Metpally Assembly seat has become a cause for concern among the contesting candidates.

The BJP candidate, T. Venkata Ramana Reddy, a follower of the Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, is seeking re-election from this segment. Mr. Venkata Ramana Reddy won from this constituency in the 1999 elections after it was vacated by Mr. Vidyasagar Rao, who won from the Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency in the 1999 elections. Mr. Vidyasagar Rao launched his political career from the Metpally Assembly constituency in the 1985 elections by winning on BJP ticket. He performed a hat-trick from this segment, winning successively in 1985, 1989 and 1994 and also became BJP floor leader in the Assembly. In the 1998 by-election, the Congress candidate, Komireddy Jyothi (Jyothakka), had won from this segment and had a brief stint as legislator.

Mr. Venkata Ramana Reddy is facing threat from the rebel groups not only from within the party but also from its ally -- the TDP.

The BJP district vice-president and ex-ZPTC member of Metpally, P. Aruna, had opposed the candidature of Mr. Venkata Ramana openly and demanded the allocation of seat to a woman candidate.

On the other hand, the APSRTC zonal chairman and ZPTC member, K. Vidyasagar Rao, who has been demanding the allocation of the Metpally segment to the TDP, has reportedly decided to contest as independent candidate from this segment. Till date no TDP candidate has won from this segment as it was allocated to the BJP since 1985. Even during the TDP wave in the 1983 elections, the Congress candidate had won from this segment. In the meantime, the Zilla Parishad chairman, K.V. Rajeshwara Rao, who raised a hue and cry against the party recently, has secured TRS ticket to contest from this segment.

The TRS leader, Sujith Rao, is planning to contest as independent from this segment. The dreams of senior Congress leader, Komireddy Ramulu, who was aspiring for party ticket, were shattered following the allocation of Metpally seat to the TRS candidate.

Mr. Ramulu had intensified the election campaign in this segment even before the allocation of the seat. During the 1994 and 1999 elections, Mr. Ramulu contested on Congress ticket, but was defeated by BJP candidates.

Local issues such as the Ganganala project, the Badanakurthi bridge across the Godavari and other issues are likely to figure during electioneering.

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