Staff Reporter

BHIMAVARAM: The denial of ticket to sitting MLA Grandhi Srinivas sparked off violent protest with his followers setting fire to the Congress office in the town.

Soon after the official announcement of the list of candidates for the Assembly and Lok Sabha seats by the Congress high command, a frenzied mob, reportedly comprising followers of Mr. Srinivas, went to the party office with petrol cans and set it ablaze when they found that his name did not figure. No casualties were reported as the incident took place quite beyond the office hours.

Later, the mob staged a rasta roko at Prakasam Chowk centre, resenting the decision of the Congress high command. Meanwhile, Grandhi Venkateswara Rao, former DCC vice-president and father of Mr. Srinivas, declared that his son would remain in the election fray as an independent candidate .

The trouble broke out with the party leadership replacing the sitting MLA with Pulavarthi Ramanjaneyulu, a contractor, for the seat. The protesters suspected the hand of Vegesna Ramakrishnam Raju, APCC vice-president and confidante of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajaeskhar Reddy behind the denial of ticket.