Bifurcation, emergence of YSRC likely to affect prospects of the party

The birth of YSR Congress and the Telangana State are the two developments that are going to affect the prospects of the Congress in a major way in the ensuing elections to the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).

The Congress, which had a tie up with the Left parties, did exceedingly well in election to the municipal corporation held in 2005.

The Congress bagged 29 of the 59 divisions with the allies CPI bagging nine and the CPI (M) eight divisions. The Telugu Desam could only win in ten divisions and two Congress rebels and one TDP rebel won as independents.

Out of the 29 elected as Congress corporators, a dozen were followers of former MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who announced that he was quitting from active politics and six more were followers of former MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna, who has since changed two parties—Praja Rajyam and YSR Congress.

Only a small group of seven Congress corporators were followers of former Minister Devineni Rajasekhar who is still going strong in the party.

The leaders may have changed their loyalties to parties, but the followers continued their loyalties to the individuals.

Followers of Mr. Radhakrishna followed their leader into the YSR Congress. Two former Mayors – Muthamsetti Ratnabindu and Mallika Begum – openly showed their solidarity with Mr Rajagopal after he returned to the city recently along with several former corporators of his group. The fact that the Congress suspended him was of little concern to them.

A few more corporators joined YSRC more recently to show their ire at the way the Congress High Command pushed for the bifurcation of the State. Former Congress floor leader in the Municipal Corporation and the present city Congress working president Meesala Rajeswara Rao putting up a brave front, however, told The Hindu that there were several aspirants for the party ticket in each division even now. Soon a committee consisting of elected representatives would sit and shortlist candidates.

A lot of new faces, if not some very old faces, are going to be seen in the list of Congress candidates for the ensuing municipal elections.

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