Minister cancels function after Ganta alleges protocol breach

Infighting in the district Congress took a new twist after severe criticism by Minister for Infrastructure Ganta Srinivasa Rao against Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari leading to the latter cancelling the foundation stone laying for a road near Anandapuram.

Mr. Rao had accused the Union Minister with breach of protocol for scheduling the stone-laying ceremony for a road under Prime Minister’s Grameena Sadak Yojana on the day Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy was scheduled to be in the district to for Revenue Sadassu.

An aide of Ms. Purandeswari told The Hindu that her programme was finalised before the Chief Minister’s itinerary.

Sources said Ms. Purandeswari spoke to the Chief Minister to convey her decision to postpone the stone-laying ceremony for the road from Anandapuram to S.Kota, which falls in her Lok Sabha constituency.

She, however, decided to interact with party workers near Bhimili as per her original schedule .

The cause

Mr. Rao and Ms. Purandeswari are not seeing eye-to-eye for sometime now. Mr. Rao hit out at her for her opposition to the merger of Anakapalle and Bhimili municipalities with Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC). He has been supporting the merger, giving rise to speculation of his interest in the development of real estate in the region.

Ms. Purandeswari told the GVMC and the Department of Municipal Administration that the merger would not help in improving amenities in the two municipalities.

Asked to comment on their differences, Rajya Sabha Member T. Subbarami Reddy, who has claimed that he would be the Congress candidate for Vizag Lok Sabha seat in 2014 polls, termed it an internal affair.

However, he indirectly backed Ganta’s stand on the merger saying that as local Minister Srinivasa Rao would know the ground reality better.