Several key functionaries of the Progressive Organisation of Women (POW), including its district secretary Chandra Aruna, and the Kothagudem mandal secretary Kunja Sulochana entered the local body electoral fray from Yellendu ZPTC and Singabhupalam MPTC-I seat in Kothagudem mandal, respectively.

While Chandra Aruna is the wife of slain Praja Pantha CPI (ML-New Democracy) leader, Chandra Krishna Murthy alias Yellanna, Sulochana is the cousin of CPI (ML-ND) underground cadre K Venkateshwarlu alias Ganesh, currently head of the Gundala dalam of CPI (ML-ND).

Yellendu ZPTC seat was earlier represented by Avunuri Padma, wife of CPI (ML-ND) dalam commander Madhu. The party has fielded Chandra Aruna from Yellendu ZPTC to retain the seat in its traditional stronghold.

Ms Sulochana, a key functionary of the POW, actively participated in several mass movements in adherence to democratic form of protests on a wide range of issues concerning Adivasis and women.

She took part in agitations demanding pattas for “Podu lands” and redressal of grievances of tendu leaf collectors, among other issues, party sources said.

While her cousin brother is spearheading revolutionary struggle as an underground cadre of the CPI (ML-New Democracy), Ms Sulochana joined the electoral fray with an aim to represent the voice of underprivileged sections in the local bodies.

“Winning the elections is not the criteria for us and we would like to bring the agenda of espousing the cause of Adivasis and other marginalised sections into sharp focus,” says Sulochana.