Party releases Rs. 15 lakh for renovation of the building and to turn it into its headquarters in Seemandhra
Few came forward to maintain it when the party was in power both in the State and at the Centre. But, when the Congress was literally wiped out from the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation and Krishna district in the recent serial elections, the iconic Andhra Ratna Bhavan, the main office of the Congress party in the city, will soon get a facelift. There was none to even pay power bills. Even today, Rs. 1 lakh is pending to DISCOM, according to party sources.
The party has released Rs 15 lakh for the renovation of the building to turn it into the party headquarters in Seemandhra. The building shares the title Andhra Ratna with the first Telugu secretary of the All India Congress Committee Duggirala Gopalakrishnayya.
Party cadre holds the building in great reverence because it hosted meetings addressed by Mahatma Gandhi himself. The Mahatma has visited the city on three occasions and he addressed party workers in the building. The building that was initially single storeyed was later made double storeyed.
The leaders that held office in the building seldom added stature to the building. The building, however, always added stature to the persons who held office in it. Leaders and cadre fought to become office-bearers and leaders fought to maintain possession of it. The Andhra Ratna Bhavan was the venue of a pitched battle between the president G.S.Raju and the then working president Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao who constantly fought to gain control of the office. Mohana Ranga Rao’s wife and former MLA Ratnakumari maintained possession of the building and the City Congress committee president Narindi Kanaka Rao had to be satisfied playing second fiddle to her.
History seems to be repeating itself with the current President Adapa Nagendram and Working President Meesala Rajeswara Rao also having their differences over several matters related to the maintenance and development of the party’s heritage building. Notwithstanding the location of the new Capital the Congress party has decided to make the building the headquarters of the residuary State.