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Thursday, Oct 06, 2005
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G.V. Ramana Rao
VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal has been isolated with Kankipadu MLA Devineni Rajasekhar and other legislators of the district joining hands with Vijayawada MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna to support the candidature of Muthamsetty Venkata Ratna Bindu for the post of the city Mayor.
Mr. Radhakrishna, with the support of senior Congress leader in the district and Avanigadda MLA Mandali Buddha Prasad, opposed Mr. Rajagopal's proposal to give the mayor post to a minority candidate. He reportedly impressed upon Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and APCC president K. Keshava Rao that the Vijayawada mayor's post need not be given to a Muslim because Machilipatnam chairperson Sheik Silar Dada had been given an opportunity. Krishna district MLAs took the initiative and gave a letter to the PCC chief naming Ms. Bindu as the candidate of their choice.
The Rajagopal group now wants to hit back with all the weapons in its arsenal. It has launched an opposition to Ms. Bindu's candidature on the ground that she is the daughter of TDP Krishna district spokesman Bade Babu Rao. It wants the party to take into consideration family loyalty before selecting a candidate.
The Kapu community, under the leadership of Mr. Buddha Prasad, Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) and Mr. Radhakrishna, has been demanding more posts from the time the Congress came to power. The PCC president reportedly promised them to give the Vijayawada city president to the Kapus, but failed to do so. The MLAs argued that giving the mayor's post to Ms. Bindu would fill the gap. The Rajagopal group, however, opposed the claims of the Kapu community on the grounds that two important municipal corporations like Guntur and Vijayawada could not be given to them at the same time.
Banking on their numerical strength, the MLAs urged the party high command to take the opinion of the Congress corporator-elects for selecting a candidate. The Rajagopal group strategically demanded that the opinion of the Left party corporator-elects also be taken for finalising the candidate. The CPI sees the lack of consensus in the Congress camp as a godsend opportunity for them to push its case forward. The party has been saying that its candidate should be mayor first.
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