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

Dronamraju stages a comeback

By Our Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM, MAY 11. Congress strongman in north coastal Andhra, Dronamraju Satyanaryana, has made a successful comeback to the Legislative Assembly after a gap of nearly 24 years.

Mr. Satyanarayana, who had last won in a by-election to the Pendurthy Assembly segment in 1980 before losing the seat to the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1983, re-enters the Assembly with an impressive 16,767 votes victory over the sitting Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, K. Hari Babu, in Vizag-I Assembly constituency.

The intervening period saw Mr. Satyanarayana make a vain bid for the Vizag Mayoralty, being twice nominated to the Rajya Sabha, unsuccessfully try to push the candidature of his son, Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao (now the city Congress president) from Pendurthy in 1994 and 1999 and being snubbed by his party during the reconstitution of the Pradesh Congress Committee. The veteran leader even announced political retirement, but surprised everyone by re-entering electoral arena again. With his win now, the BJP lost its only seat in north coastal districts in a constituency that is not known to return the same candidate since its inception in 1967.

Vizag-I, one of the smallest Assembly constituencies in the State, had first elected the political stalwart, Tenneti Viswanadham as an Independent---Mr. Satyanarayana incidently defeated Tenneti in the 1977 Lok Sabha elections---and favoured the Congress thrice thereafter before coming under the fold of the TDP in 1983. The Congress wrested the seat in 1989 but surrendered it to the TDP in 1994 and to its ally, BJP, in 1999.

Not many gave a good chance to Mr. Satyanarayana this time, but he silenced his critics with a telling victory. In a contest crowded by Independents, he accounted for 41,652 of the total 72,373 votes polled as against 24,885 of Dr. Haribabu. The Congress patriarch left none in doubt about his victory, maintaining a consistent lead in all the 10 rounds of counting.

Talking to The Hindu, he attributed his victory to the trust people had reposed in the Congress and the `misrule' of the TDP Government. "I am also overwhelmed by the hard work put in by the party workers,'' he added.

His supporters see Mr. Satyanarayana as a potential candidate for Ministership--a position that has eluded him so far in his political career.

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