Party workers see Devineni Avinash (26), son of former Minister Rajasekhar, as a ‘home-grown’ candidate for the Vijayawada LS seat
The Congress seems to have conceded to the long pending demand of local party workers and sympathisers by selecting a ‘home-grown’ candidate for the Lok Sabha seat after a gap of two decades. The party announced the nomination of twenty six-year-old Devineni Avinash, son of former Minister Rajasekhar, as its candidate for the Vijayawada LS seat.
Both former Union Minister Parvataneni Upendra and his son-in-law Lagadapati Rajagopal, whom the party fielded in the past, were not considered ideal candidates because they were non-locals. Even though Mr. Rajagopal completed his intermediate course from Andhra Loyola College and his engineering from Siddhartha Engineering College here, he was not seen as a local because he was born at Nellore where his family hails from. Dissenters of Mr. Upendra and Mr. Rajagopal made a big issue of their origins every time there was a discussion on re-issuing the party ticket to them. The party gave the ticket to Mr. Upendra for the LS seat thrice, and he had emerged victorious twice. Similar was the case with Mr. Rajagopal, who won on both occasions when he was given the Congress ticket.
The first MP to be elected from Vijayawada LS constituency was an outsider too. Harindhranath Chattopadhyaya, a multi-faceted personality and younger brother of the first woman president of the Indian National Congress Sarojini Naidu, contested as an independent with the support of the undivided CPI in 1952. Another non-local Kommarraju Achamamba was the first Congress candidate to be elected from the Vijayawada LS. Kankipadu-born and local K. L. Rao was elected to the Lok Sabha thrice on a Congress ticket after Achamamba. In 1977 the Congress fielded non-local Godey Murahari as its candidate. Mr. Murahari won and even became the Dy Speaker of the sixth Lok Sabha.
Daughter of atheist leader Gora, Chennupati Vidya, a candidate of Indira Congress, vanquished K.L. Rao who defected to the Janata Party in 1980. Though Ms. Vidya was not born in town, she grew up here and was seen as a local. After her TDP nemesis Vadde Sobhandreeswara defeated her in 1991, Mr. Avinash is the first local to be given a Congress ticket.