Special Correspondent

Congress rebel Gorle Haribabu Naidu remains in fray Though the Congress has a clear majority, the result can go in favour of any of the three candidates

  • Congress leader Kishore Chandra Dev announces his support to rebel candidate
  • Caste factor may go in favour of Gorle Haribabu Naidu

    Srikakulam: The stage is now set for a triangular fight for the Local Authorities Constituency in the district. Three candidates viz; Tankala Babji (Congress), Ch.Sudhakar (TDP) and Gorle Haribabu Naidu (rebel Congress) are in the fray.

    The deadline for withdrawal of nominations expired by 3 pm on Monday and Mr.Haribabu Naidu had not withdrawn from the field.

    This scenario makes the fight interesting because even though the Congress has a clear majority, the result can go in favour of any of the three candidates.

    The members of Zilla parishad territorial constituencies, Mandal parishad territorial constituencies and the five municipal councils in the district constitute the Electoral College for the LAC. The total number of votes in the district is 789 and the half way mark, required to win the election, is 395. The Congress has 494 votes as against the TDP's 280. The numbers are clearly in favour of the Congress candidate, but the presence of Mr.Haribabu Naidu as a rebel candidate may upset this apple cart.

    Bright chances

    As the official candidate Mr.Tankala Babji enjoys the support of Revenue Minister, Dharmana Prasada Rao, ZP Chairman, Palavalasa Rajasekhar and other senior leaders of the party, his chances are bright. However, Mr. Haribabu Naidu has substantial following and Parvathipuram MP, and another Congress leader, Kishore Chandra Dev, had virtually announced his support for Mr. Haribabu by asserting that the latter deserved party's nomination.

    Caste factor is also in favour of the rebel candidate. Mr.Haribabu belongs to the numerically dominant Kapu caste in the district. Mr.Babji belongs to Vysya caste.

    However as the prestige of the Revenue Minister is at stake, supporters of Mr.Babji feel that he would romp home.

    Will there be a split in Congress votes? If so, will it be such that the rebel Congress candidate will benefit. Will there be cross voting in favour of the TDP? The answers are anybody's guess.