VIJAYAWADA: There is connection to Hotel Marriott (erstwhile Viceroy Hotel) in Hyderabad and Vijayawada’s Fortune Murali Park, a swanky hotel on the busy M.G. Road. Not business-wise but in politics.
The former played a key role in the nineties helping TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu to wrest power by his father-in-law in a bloodless coup. The later now is in the making.
This city hotel is gradually becoming a hub of political maneuverings and as per sources, leaders of two major parties -Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – are “blindly depending on the hotelier” in scrutinizing the list of aspirants and selecting contestants for Assembly and Parliament elections. In fact, the reams of gossips and rumours, which are hitting the newspaper headlines are emanating from the cozy environs of the hotel.
Frequent presence of aspiring politicians in the lounge and at the visitors’ lobby of the hotel round the clock is adding credence to the rumours.
Though city hoteliers and businessmen were keeping distance at politicians at least in public gaze earlier, the grapevine is that this particular hotelier is maintaining close rapport with senior leaders in both BJP and TDP. Many aspirants are in constant touch with him to reach BJP senior leader M. Venkaiah Naidu and TDP leader Sujana Chowdary, a Rajya Sabha (RS) member.
TDP sources say that the hotelier took the Koneru Lakshmaiah University chancellor Koneru Satyanarayana to party president N. Chandrababu Naidu for a political confabulation. In fact, TDP Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency in-charge Kesineni Srinivas (Nani) was able to re-establish his contacts with Mr. Naidu through this crafty RS member.
Erstwhile Praja Rajyam Party leader Mutthamsetti Krishna Rao walked into TDP with the help the hotelier and his ‘contacts’. At one point of time, there was a rumour that Telugu Desam might field the resourceful ‘hotelier’ for Mayor’s post, but it did not materialize.
The hotelier is said to have played a key role in organising meetings of BJP’s Venkaiah Naidu on city development.
When contacted, hotelier Muthavarapu Muralikrishna said: “It’s true I have good relations with politicians irrespective of their political affiliations. In fact, they suggested me to contest from Vijayawada Parliamentary constituency, which I denied politely. All I want is a good politician for city development.”
Former union minister Daggubati Purandeswari is one of the prominent politicians who is having the backing of the hotelier and his associates. He (the hotelier) is working overtime to see to it that NTR’s daughter gets the Vijayawada LS ticket.
Now, the talk in political circles is that Kesineni Nani, who is a strong contender, may not get the coveted ticket as he fails to fit the bill. “He lacks the stature and political acumen,” TDP circles say.