G. Ravikiran

Top brass seems to play it safe by not giving the reins to any particular leader

VIJAYAWADA: The Praja Rajyam Party continues to face obstacles for the smooth functioning of its urban unit with its successive conveners unable to run the affairs of the party effectively because of several factors. The situation continues to be the same as it has been since its inception, even as the party top brass seems to play it safe by not giving the reins of the city unit to any particular leader to avoid further problems.

Though the State leadership has recently constituted the district committee by appointing Dhanekula Murali Mohan as its convenor, they carefully postponed appointing a convener for the urban unit. The name of Gundapu Chandrasekhar, who has been with the party almost since its inception, did the rounds for sometime but nothing came out of it.

While the leadership vacuum persists, another irritant continues to crop up regarding the role of former MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna, who has considerable clout among the followers of his father late Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga Rao. Because of his domineering role, successive conveners of the urban unit could not establish their hold over party affairs, which eventually led to their quitting the party.

The first convener of the Praja Rajyam city unit Kesineni Nani had to quit following an intense power struggle triggered by leaders who were stated to have been encouraged by a powerful section in the party at that time. Boppana Bhava Kumar, who succeeded him, too did not stay put for long following his differences over allotment of party ticket and also over the functioning of the urban unit. Both of them eventually joined the TDP.

Mr. Radhakrishna's defeat in Vijayawada Central constituency at the hands of Congress candidate Malladi Vishnu during the last Assembly elections was a dampener for the party, though it won two other seats in the city. Against this backdrop, rumours continue to circulate about Mr. Radhakrishna's future plans. These rumours are further reinforced from time to time, as the former MLA has not been taking active interest in the party activities.

There has been speculation that he would switch loyalties to his family's parent party, the Congress, while others consider the probability of his joining the Telugu Desam because of his “cordial relations” with the MLA of the main Opposition Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao and young leader Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan.

With Mr. Vishnu gaining strength in the constituency, it is being said that he would do everything possible to block any efforts by Mr. Radhakrishna to rejoin the Congress. As of now, the former MLA is maintaining a low profile in the Praja Rajyam urban unit with its affairs being run from the premises of Vijayawada East MLA Yelamanchili Ravi's offices.

As the vacuum persists, the party leaders and cadres in the urban unit of the party feel unhappy but maintain silence over its affairs.