Claims made by Ministers, MLAs in several districts put party in a bind

Congress party leadership continues to grapple with infighting by partymen backed by Ministers and legislators alike for capturing the posts of chairpersons of District Cooperative Central Banks as the deadline approaches.

The squabbling has reached such proportions that it threatens to undo the party’s good showing in the cooperative polls due to which it is poised to straightaway win the DCCB chairpersons’ posts in 13 districts.

Yet, it is able to name its candidates in Mahabubnagar, West Godavari and Vizianagaram districts. In the remaining 10 districts, the task of finalising the chairman candidates hit a roadblock in the wake of claims made by Ministers, MLAs and district-level leaders. Serious differences have cropped up among the Congress leaders in Anantapur, East Godavari, Prakasam, Krishna, Guntur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Medak, Nalgonda, Ranga Reddy and Chittoor districts.

In Anantapur, former Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy and the district Ministers -- N. Raghuveera Reddy and S. Sailajanath and others MLAs -- are backing different candidates. Mr. Diwakar Reddy is pushing the candidature of his brother J.C. Prabhakar Reddy. If his attempts fail, he may join hands with YSR Congress and TDP to bag the DCCB chairman’s post.

In Chief Minister’s native Chittoor district, all eyes are on the role of Congress MLA Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, who is openly backing the YSRC. Medak is another district where the Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajanarsimha and Ministers – J. Geetha Reddy and Sunitha Laxma Reddy -- are at loggerheads. Kadapa presents a peculiar situation where the YSRC won highest number of seats, but the election of DCCB chairman hinges on the support of seven PACS chiefs owing allegiance to the Jammalamadugu MLA C. Adinarayana Reddy. The PCC has named observers for all the 22 districts where elections would be held on February 18. Interestingly, in several districts, the chairman aspirants have already taken the PACS chiefs on junkets to pre-empt poaching by rivals.