Special Correspondent

Sitting MLAs Ranga Raju, Gandi Babji, Karri Sitaramu dropped

Konathala, Kannababu, Dronamraju, Gurumurthy Reddy get nod

Purandeswari to be fielded from Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Congress high command sprang quite a few surprises in the list of contestants for general elections in Visakhapatnam district, released in New Delhi on Saturday.

Three of the eight sitting MLAs – Saripalle Rangaraju and Gandi Babji, who represented the dissolved Visakhapatnam-II and Paravada Assembly constituencies respectively, and Karri Sitaramu (Bheemunipatnam) were denied renomination for the Assembly seats which have increased from 13 to 15 in Visakhapatnam district.

Minister for Commercial Taxes Konathala Ramakrishna from Anakapalle, U.V. Ramanamurthy alias Kannababu for Elamanchili, Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao for Visakhapatnam South after the constituency he represented, Visakhapatnam-I, disappeared in the delimitation, Tippala Gurumurthy Reddy, who is shifted from Pendurthy to the newly-formed constituency of Gajuwaka, and Karanam Dharmasri of Madugula ,who is now asked to contest from his border constituency of Chodavaram, got the party nod again.

All others will be contesting in the Assembly polls for the first time, barring Pasupuleti Balaraju, who won from Chintapalle (ST) in 1989 but was denied ticket subsequently. He is now being fielded from Paderu (ST) as Chintapalle constituency also vanished in delimitation.

First timers

The new faces include city business magnate who heads the Wellfare Group Malla Vijayaprasad for Visakhapatnam West, City Congress president Tynala Vijayakumar for Visakhapatnam North, former city corporator P. Umarani for Bhimunipatnam, former Zilla Parishad CEO Baburao for Payakaraopeta (SC), Mutyalapapa for Narsipatnam, a social worker Thota Vijayalakshmi for Pendurthi, and former chairperson of Zilla Parishad Vanjangi Kanthamma for the newly-formed Araku Valley (ST).

The axe also fell on two other sitting legislators P. Mangapathi Rao and K. Ravibabu of Uttarapalli and S.Kota which are part of Vizianagaram but constituted Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency till the last elections.

Of course, all the losers in last elections, including former Minister from Chodavaram, Balireddi Satyarao did not get the party nod this time.

The choice for the two Lok Sabha seats in the district – Visakhapatnam and Anakapalle – did raise some eyebrows.

Though there was talk of Union Minister of State for Human Resources D. Purandeswari would be asked to contest from Visakhapatnam, it was said she was initially unwilling being a stranger here and also due to the feeling that the Congress party was fielding only local candidates for the seat which was represented by outsiders since more than two decades. But she is now forced to take a chance from Visakhapatnam. Former city Mayor Sabbam Hari, who rejoined the party only four months ago after he was slapped a six-year suspension term for anti-party activity in the last elections, got the party’s ticket to contest the Anakapalle Lok Sabha, much to the chagrin of many senior leaders in the party.