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Polls an acid test for local MP

S.Venugopal

All four municipalities fall in constituency represented by him

MAHBUBNAGAR: As the municipal elections draw closer, both the major players in this town, the Congress and Telugu Desam, seem to be caught in trouble triggered by rebels. The former has 12 and the latter 11 rebels in the fray.

In a way, these elections have become an acid test for the local Congress MP, D. Vittal Rao, as all the four municipalities in the district fall in his constituency. He has been camping here since the last day of withdrawal of nominations. For the TDP, senior leaders Nagam Janardhan Reddy and P. Chandra Sekhar are shouldering the responsibility.

Double trouble

Congress sources said the leadership has decided to field a Muslim candidate for the post of chairperson, notwithstanding the claims being made by Puli Anjanamma, wife of Puli Veeranna, local MLA, Buruju Sudhakar Reddy, former president of Farmers Society and Bekkari Srinivas Reddy.

The three have entered the poll arena eyeing the coveted post.

Fearing sabotage, the Congress poll managers administered oath to all 36 party candidates a day before launching of the election campaign. They swore in the name of God, their parents and children that they would not hatch any plot to defeat each other.

As if the rebels were not enough, the party will have to fight its allies, CPI (M) and CPI, in four municipalities.

This follows failure in coming to an understanding on seat sharing. Leaving only two wards to CPI (M) in Mahabubnagar municipality, the Congress is contesting all the wards in four municipalities. It has effectively turned the poll scene into a multi-cornered contest.

Tough situation

In Gadwal Municipality, the Congress is facing stiff opposition from its own ranks. It is a fight by proxy between two brothers and political heavyweights, D.K Samarasimha Reddy and D.K Bharatsimha Reddy. Miffed by the way the party has neglected him, Mr Samarasimha Reddy has floated the Nagar Sudhar Samithi and fielded candidates in all the wards against that of the Congress.

The TDP campaigners in Gadwal, Ghattu Bheemudu, former MLA, and Ghattu Thimmappa, former District Cooperative Central Bank Chairman, are expecting gains from the spilt in the Congress vote.

Vacuum in Narayanpet

In Narayanpet Municipality, the Congress MP, Vittal Rao, is trying hard to fill the vacuum caused by the killing of local MLA C Narsi Reddy by CPI (Maoist) activists a month ago. Hailing from the weaver community of the town, Mr Rao is leaving no stone unturned to garner support from weavers and Muslims, who have a decisive vote.

In Wanaparthy, the TDP is determined to retain the municipality.

Party MP Ravula Chandrasekhar Reddy is banking on the works taken up by him in the town from his MPLADS fund while the Congress MLA, G. Chinna Reddy, is highlighting the achievements of the Congress Government.

Candidates from Backward Classes top the list of the aspirants from all political parties in the four municipalities.

For instance, though only 13 wards out of 38 are reserved for BCs in Mahabubnagar Municipality, the Congress has fielded 18 BCs while TDP and BJP allotted 24 each.

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