This is in line with agreement hammered out in 2005

Rajasekhara Reddy gives green signal

PCC chief confirms her candidature

VIJAYAWADA: Decks have been cleared for Muttamsetti Venkata Ratna Bindu, the Congress corporator from 21st division, to get elected as Mayor in place of Mallika Begum, who submitted her resignation to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy a few days ago in accordance with an agreement worked out in 2005 among the leading groups of the party in the city.

The clearance for Ms. Ratna Bindu’s candidature came in Hyderabad on Tuesday, where she met the Chief Minister along with Vijayawada East MLA Vangaveeti Radhakrishna, to whose group she belongs in the party. Dr. Reddy reportedly told Ms. Ratna Bindu that she could go ahead and plan her stint as Mayor. “Do well during your term and earn a good name for yourself,” he reportedly told her, and also instructed Special Secretary in his office K. Prabhakar Reddy to forward Ms. Begum’s resignation to the authorities concerned.

PCC president D. Srinivas confirmed to The Hindu in Hyderabad that the party had decided to field Ms. Ratna Bindu in place of Ms. Begum.

“I discussed the issue with the Chief Minister and also with the local MP (Lagadapati Rajagopal) and the two MLAs (Mr. Radhakrishna and Devineni Rajasekhar),” he said.

Speculation ends

Ms. Ratna Bindu is expected to be formally elected by the general body of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) in a few days from now, when the State Election Commission, after receiving Ms. Begum’s resignation letter through proper channel, would decide on a date and ask district Collector or his representative to conduct the election.

The green signal given to Ms. Ratna Bindu’s candidature has finally put at rest various speculations, such as that the party may not consider her name for the remaining term of the VMC general body in view of her family’s “close links” with Praja Rajyam Party president Chiranjeevi and another corporator of the same community (Kapu) could be fielded instead. Mr. Rajagopal kept the speculations alive by maintaining that there was no “agreement” of any kind in the party about giving next chance to Ms. Ratna Bindu.