The entry of TDP leader Dadi Veerabhadra Rao in YSR Congress may see the exit of his arch-rival for three decades and party’s central governing council member Konathala Ramakrishna.
Mr. Ramakrishna, who joined YSR Congress after quitting from Congress and became a close lieutenant of Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy ever since he floated the new party, expressed his ire over Mr. Veerabhadra Rao’s admission into the party.
“We had conveyed our feelings against the decision to the party leadership,” was his comment to repeated queries by the local media. Asked whether he would make a homecoming to the Congress along with his supporters, he said, “We will take a decision only after consulting our followers.”
Mr. Ramakrishna and Mr. Rao have a strong following in the jaggery town of Anakapalle and both are from the dominant Gavara community. Mr. Ramakrishna has served as Minister for Commercial Taxes during Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s first stint as Chief Minister.
He has won the Lok Sabha polls from Anakapalle twice and shot into fame in 1989 by winning the seat with the shortest margin of nine votes.
Asked to comment on Mr. Ramakrishna’s impending entry back to Congress, Anakapalle MLA and Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao, said that there was no indication yet from him on joining the Congress.
“There was a near-revolt in YSR Congress as Mr. Veerabhadra Rao was admitted without consulting the cadres. We will not commit such a blunder. A decision when required will be taken only after consulting party leadership and local cadres,” Mr. Srinivasa Rao said when reporters questioned him at a function here on Wednesday.
Protest taken out
When contacted, Konathala’s brother Lakshminarayana, who had led a protest meeting of the cadre at Anakapalle last week against the entry of Mr. Veerabhadra Rao, told The Hindu that a large section of YSR Congress was against the entry of Mr. Veerabhadra Rao.
The Konathala brothers too do not see eye to eye with Anakapalle MP Sabbam Hari, who has not quit Congress formally but on several occasions has made it very clear that he was part and parcel of the fledgling party.