Two memorable events have significance for the people of the city

December 26, Boxing Day, equivalent of Kanuma to Christmas Day, has its significance for the people of the city. It is also the day the entire world mourns for the victims of the tsunami, the worst natural calamity in the history of mankind.

It is also the day that former MLA Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao was assassinated while he was on hunger strike for security.

Loyal voters

Every year his followers and sympathisers conduct many programmes to remember the legislator who achieved popularity by opposing the Telugu Desam Government and uniting his community men, the Kapus.

Voters of Vijayawada East Constituency, which has become the central constituency after the reorganisation, have been loyal to the family first electing Mohan Ranga Rao’s widow, Ratnakumari, and then his son Radhakrishna to the State Assembly.

After the reorganisation of the Assembly Constituencies the people had elected Mohan Ranga Rao’s ardent follower Malladi Vishnu to the Assembly.

The late MLA’s son, Radhakrishna, paid tributes to his father at his statue near Victoria Museum by garlanding it and broke down while paying floral tributes to his father.

Mr Vishnu was the only Congress leader of stature who participated in programmes to mark the death anniversary of the slain MLA. Former PCC secretary and BC leader Kolanukonda Sivaji was another leader who paid tributes to Mohana Ranga Rao.

Long rivalry

Mr Vishnu has on several occasions challenged the right of the widow, Ratnakumari, over the legacy of the slain MLA when she defected to the TDP. He did the same to the son, Radhakrishna, after he left the Congress to join the Praja Rajyam Party. Mr Vishnu even defeated Mr Radhakrishna by a narrow margin in the 2009 Assembly polls.

Many of Mr Radhakrishna’s supporters say that it was Mr Vishnu who blocked his re-entry into the Congress by preventing PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana from meeting the former MLA.

Mr Radhakrishna has joined the YSR Congress and is a rival to Mr Vishnu. The rivalry of the two comes to the fore on the birth and death anniversaries of Mohana Ranga Rao. “There is no place for two swords in the same sheath,” said a Congress man quoting a Telugu idiom.

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