“Only we can get special package for city’s development,” said former Congress party floor leader and the current city Congress working president Meesala Rajeswara Rao.
The Congress is the only party that can claim credit for the development of the city and it is on this plank that it will go to the electorate for votes in the forthcoming elections for the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) said former Congress party floor leader and the current city Congress working president Meesala Rajeswara Rao. Mr. Rajeswara Rao is a second generation Congressman. His father Meesala Raja Rao was elected as corporator more then once and even held the Deputy Mayor post.
Sharing his understanding of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation voters Mr. Rajeswara Rao said the Left parties -- CPI and CPI(M) --were elected to power in 1981 elections conducted after the Vijayawada Municipality was upgraded to a municipal corporation. Senior CPI leader T. Venkateswara Rao was elected Mayor, and again in 1995.
In the following elections conducted in 1987 the Congress party captured the municipal corporation with its candidates being elected to 34 of the 50 divisions. Former MLA Vangaveeti Mohana Rao Ranga Rao was the working president of the City Congress and G.S. Raju was the president. Jandhyala Sankar, who worked as a physician abroad for several years and returned, was elected mayor in the direct elections.
In 1995 the Left parties came back to power and Mr. Venkateswara Rao was re-elected Mayor. The mandate was fractured in 2000 with TDP candidate Panchamarti Anuradha being elected Mayor. The Congress had the largest contingent of corporators controlling the Standing Committee and other decision making bodies.
In 2005 the Congress in a tie-up with the Left parties bagged 29 out of the 59 divisions and even helped 17 Left party candidates be elected. With such a clear mandate the Congress party could take up development like never before. There was no development when the Left parties were at the helm or when the mandate was factured, Mr. Rajeswara Rao said.
There has been development only in the time of the Congress party. As many as 136 slums could be improved under the British Government-funded Overseas Development Administration (ODA) when Dr. Sankar was the Mayor and in 2005-2010 thousands of crores was utilised for development of drinking water network, underground drainage and urban housing under JNNURM and RAY schemes.
Even in the future only the Congress party could fight to get special package funds for the development of Vijayawada city, Mr. Rajeswara Rao said. The Congress party cadre is giving a lot of weight to the words of Union Minister Jairam Ramesh who said that the party would fight at the Centre to get funds and schemes for developing residual Andhra Pradesh.