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

Patrudu manages to stay afloat

By Our Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM, MAY 11. The Forests Minister, Chintakayala Ayyanna Patrudu, survived while other former ministers from the Telugu Desam Party -- Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy, and Reddy Satyanarayana, all lost their battles decisively in rural Visakhapatnam Assembly segments coming under the Anakapalle Lok Sabha constituency where Congress edged out TDP 4-3.

The biggest upsets were caused by political lightweights, Gandi Babji who outwitted Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy in Parawada, and Karanam Dharmasri, who overcame the threat of a rebel to defeat Mr. Satyanarayana in Madugula. The winners were contesting for the first time in Assembly elections. It was a start-to-finish effort by Mr. Dharmasri who led by over 6,000 votes after the fifth round to emerge victor by over 8,737 votes at the end of the eleventh round for the Madugula seat. Only in the sixth and seventh rounds did his rival poll more votes. For the Parawada Assembly seat, Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy, led only in the first round and Mr. Babji not only wiped out the deficit in the second round but steadily increased the margin to record win by a margin of 10,795 votes.

At Yelamanchili, lady luck smiled on the Congress nominee, U.V. Ramana Murthy Raju, more popular as Kannababu. He overcame the young TDP rival, Gonthina Venkata Nageswara Rao, by 5,863 votes. The most prestigious battle was fought between arch rivals, Mr. Dadi Veerabhadra Rao and former MP, Konathala Ramakrishna of the Congress in which the latter, who spearheaded the party's campaign in the district, avenged his defeat quite convincingly by a margin of 17,033 votes.

At Narsipatnam, however, Mr. Patrudu, benefited by a vertical split in the Congress when two top leaders -- Datla Venkata Suryanarayana Raju and P. Ramachandra, remained in the race with the latter getting the B form to contest as the official candidate of the Congress, recorded a runaway victory. Barring in the fifth round when Mr. Raju polled more votes, it was Mr. Patrudu all the way to romp home a clear winner by 23,369 votes to retain the seat. Apart from Mr. Patrudu, other TDP candidates who posted victories were sitting MLA, Chengala Venkata Rao from Payakaraopeta (SC), and former MP from Anakapalle, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, who opted for the Assembly from Chodavaram.

Mr. Venkata Rao fully benefited from the split in the Congress vote effected by the official Congress candidate, Ambati Vijaya Kumari, and former MLA, Gantela Sumana, who was a long-time Congress leader until she joined the TDP recently but entered the fray after she was denied the ticket. He won by a margin of over 13,000 votes.

In the case of Mr. Srinivasa Rao, he also seemed to benefit from a sort of anti-incumbency. Former Minister, Balireddi Satya Rao of the Congress was the sitting legislator in Chodavaram where people seemed to have preferred a change to elect a younger candidate. Mr. Srinivasa Rao won by 9,601 votes.

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