Staff Reporter

Candidates short-listed for ZP Chief post based on paying power

Election expenditure said to be in the range of Rs. 3 to 5 cr. Candidates back out reportedly due to expenditure involved

NELLORE: Chairman Mao's popular quote: "Political power flows from the barrel of a gun," might have been relevant in those revolutionary times. But it is not that relevant in present politics with money playing a predominant role.

And the ensuing local body elections in the State are no an exception. Nellore district is a classic example as both Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have primarily taken the money factor into account in short-listing candidates for the Zilla Parishad Chairman post. With the seat being allocated to the general category this time, the role of money has increased.

Accordingly, both parties have zeroed in on persons who have the capacity to bear the election expenditure, which might be in the range of Rs. 3 to 5 crores.

The Congress initially tried its best to field noted contractor Adala Raghava Reddy. To check this move, the TDP brought V. Venugopala Reddy from Kavali and B. Ravi Chandra from Allur into the scene.

Opt out

However, Mr. Raghava Reddy opted out of the race in the last minute citing family problems. And Mr. Venugopala Reddy and Mr. Ravi Chanda too followed suit, the former on the pretext of astrological factors and the latter for a different reason. But according to observers expenditure was the factor that drove them away.

Against this backdrop, the Congress announced the name of realtor Kakani Goverdhan Reddy for the ZP Chairman post. Prior to that, he was declared elected from the Saidapuram Zilla Parishad Territorial Constituency (ZPTC) unanimously, following the withdrawal of nine candidates including three TDP candidates from the fray and rumours were rife that money had changed hands.

On the other hand, the TDP was forced to field former Minister and present district party president Somireddy Chandramohana Reddy for the ZP Chairman post. According to analysts, he has been using all his resources to give a stiff fight to the ruling party.