VIZIANAGARAM: Scion of Vizianagaram P. Ashok Gajapati Raju, former union minister, and his daughter Adithi are spearheading Telugu Desam’s campaign for Vizianagaram Municipal Corporation.
Both are taking head on the powerful YSRC led by local MLA Kolagatla Veerabhdra Swamy. YSRC had won all the nine assembly segments and MP seat in the district during general elections.
Apart from YSRC, Ashok Gajapati Raju has an adversary from his own party in the form of former MLA Meesala Gita, who was denied party nomination in the last general elections. She has raised a banner of revolt against Raju and established a separate TD party office, though it had been from an office in Vizianagaram Fort for decades.
Fearing that Gita would interfere in party affairs for ensuing elections, the TD high command made her Bobbili in-charge. “The party has been divided vertically between Ashok and Gita, a strong BC leader in Vizianagaram district,” said a senior Telugu Desam leader.
As a result, the contest between ruling and opposition parties could become a one-sided match in favour of YSRC, the leader pointed out; saying Gita might even dissuade BC leaders from campaigning for party candidates.
Another senior leader said TD has had to field SC and BC candidates from some OC wards, as none came forward to contest polls under the leadership of Ashok Gajapati Raju.
Yet, Adithi is vigorously campaigning for party candidates by visiting all wards, particularly that of K. Samantakamani, wife of Kandi Murali Naidu, senior party leader.
TD has announced that Samatakamani will be its mayoral candidate.
Ruling YSRC is also not bereft of rebels’ threat. Ruling party leaders have filed nominations as independent candidates from 19 of the total 50 wards. Some of them are allegedly backed by minister Botsa Satyanarayana and others by Avanapu Chinnammalu, wife of former chairman Suribabu, apart from her sons Vijay and Vikram. All the three have filed their papers.
“The rebels issue will be settled on the last date of withdrawing nominations. It will be the high command decision whom to make a mayor and whom corporator,” said the ruling party MLA Veerabhdra Swamy.
Though YSRC has not yet announced its mayoral candidate, it is likely that the MLA’s daughter Kolagatla Sravani could hold the post of deputy mayor but be the de facto mayor. Incidentally, the mayoral post has been reserved for BC women. MLA’s loyalist Asapu Sujatha is likely to be the choice of the party, sources said....