Mayor is elected through indirect elections, but the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders are lobbying for the post. Many contenders, including those who have been serving the party since TDP founder N. T. Rama Rao’s time, have emerged as front-runners.

Tumati Premnath, who served as Vijayawada Guntur Tenali Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTMUDA) Chairman, former MLA Katragadda Babu, and TDP Urban president Buddha Venkanna are some under consideration. While Mr. Premnath and Mr. Babu are backed by Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency in-charge Kesineni Srinivas (Nani), Mr. Venkanna is supported by TDP district president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and TDP Vijayawada (East) in-charge Gadde Rammohan Rao, sources say.

The other aspirants include Koneru Sridhar, Koganti Rama Rao, Chennupati Gandhi, Jasthi Sambasiva Rao and TDP floor leader in the immediate past VMC Council Yerubothu Ramana Rao. Former TDP Urban president Koneru Basaweswara Rao is also said to be in the race.

All the aspirants have set their eyes on division 8, which is now represented by Nalluri Usha Rani. She is likely to go to 12th division. If Mr. Venkanna’s name were to be finalised, he would contest from 10th division, sources say.

The Mayor’s post, which was reserved for women during last two councils, has been thrown open for general category this time. In 2000, the Mayor post was reserved for women-General and in 2005, it was reserved as women-BC.

TDP State general secretary Panchumarthi Anuradha served as Mayor when it was reserved for Women General. Later, Left and Congress combine swept the polls in 2005. The post was held by three women corporators—Tadi Sakuntala (then CPI leader), Mallika Begum and M. V. Ratna Bindu on rotation basis.

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