Special Correspondent

High drama after poll results throw up hung civic body

  • Elected Congress candidates bundled into Volvo bus
  • Brought to Hyderabad and put up in a luxury hotel on city outskirts

    HYDERABAD: A day after the municipal election results threw up a hung civic body in Visakhapatnam, the Congress party shifted all the 27 party corporators to Hyderabad on Thursday.

    The newly elected Congress candidates were bundled into a Volvo bus and brought to Hyderabad where they were put up in a luxury hotel on the city outskirts. Hectic efforts are on to woo the independents, whose support is crucial for both the Congress and the TDP to secure the Mayor's post.

    The TDP-CPI (M) combine won 34 seats, the Congress-CPI alliance bagged 28 and 10 independents made it to the civic body. The Congress is confident of winning the Mayor's post with the help of the independents, mostly party rebels, and the votes to be cast by the party's four MLAs and two MPs.

    Though reluctant earlier, independents seemed to have succumbed to the Congress leaders' offer. The party reportedly succeeded in engineering a split among the independents. Six rebels, after initial hesitation, were said to have joined the Congress camp. Independent corporator T. Nagi Reddy, who claimed the support of eight independents on Wednesday, stood isolated with the lone support coming from his daughter-in-law.

    TSR confident

    Four rebels reportedly accompanied Union Minister T. Subbirami Reddy to Hyderabad while two others were brought here by Visakhapatnam-II MLA Ranga Raju. Mr. Subbirami Reddy called on Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at Secretariat. He later told reporters that the Congress rebels would sail with the ruling party. APCC president K. Keshava Rao said the party would back a Backward Class candidate as Mayor. He admitted that several seniors were denied tickets, which led to rebels entering the fray.

    With the party pitching for a BC as Mayor nominee, newly elected corporators U. Appa Rao, S. Chinna Appala Naidu and Dadi Satyanarayana, are reportedly trying to garner the support of fellow corporators. The matter is likely to be resolved on Friday when the Chief Minister is expected to meet the senior leaders.