Special Correspondent

BJP meeting to finalise list of prospective candidates at 5.30 p.m.

Preparations of BJP city unit for bypoll advancedK. Haribabu, P.V. Chalapathi Rao to attend meetingQuite a few likely to throw their hat in the ring

VISAKHAPATNAM: The preparations of the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Visakhapatnam-I Assembly by-election slated for Febrary 16 are being advanced with the sudden announcement that the State BJP president Nallu Indrasena Reddy would arrive on Tuesday afternoon.

Consequently, the meeting to make a list of prospective candidates, which was earlier scheduled for Thursday, is now advanced to 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Appeal through media

The city BJP president Bandaru Rangamohan Rao was seen making an appeal through media to the party office-bearers to attend the meeting.

BJP all-India secretary and former MLA from Visakh-I K. Haribabu, and former State president P.V. Chalapathi Rao are expected to attend the meeting which will examine the list of party aspirants for the seat, fallen vacant due to the death of Dronamraju Satyanarayana of Congress party.

Four names

Initially, four names figured among the aspirants. They include former city unit presidents J. Prithvi Raj and T. Subbarami Reddy, besides the present incumbent Mr. Rangamohan, and BJP legal cell convener P.V. Narayana Rao.

Dr. Haribabu, who had won the seat in the past but lost it in the latest election to Dronamraju Satyanarayna, is said to be not interested in the contest.

Three-way contest

But it appears that quite a few are likely to throw their hat in the ring when the State unit president arrives on the scene.

However, with the Telugu Desam Party also entering fray to make it a three-way contest, the BJP would have its task cut out to find a candidate who has winning chances.

Both the BJP and the TDP are already said to have rejected the suggestion of Commercial Taxes Minister Konathala Ramakrishna that the seat should be left to the Congress unopposed with Satyanarayana's son Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao likely to be candidate as Satyanarayana had contributed a lot to the city's development.

'No justification'

The rival political parties feel that there is no justification in allowing the seat for the Congress as Satyanarayana's was a natural death, after prolonged illness.