G. Ravikiran

Balavardhana Rao strong aspirant for Gannavaram

Curiosity in party circles over the issue

Sources say NTR Jr. may exert pressure on party leadership

VIJAYAWADA: A Telugu Desam Party leader who is almost always accompanying NTR Jr. during his present roadshow is Vallabhaneni Vamsi Mohan, who is more familiar in this region for his strong plea for the party ticket for Gannavaram Assembly constituency.

It is well known that NTR Jr. has been asking the TDP leadership to give Gannavaram ticket to Mr. Vamsi Mohan, despite the fact that this will mean setting aside long-time local leader and another strong aspirant Dasari Balavardhana Rao.

Now that NTR Jr.’s roadshows have become a success in pulling huge crowds, it has generated curiosity in the TDP as to what will be the final decision of party president N. Chandrababu Naidu. It has become an interesting question within the party whether Mr. Naidu will acknowledge NTR Jr.’s services by nominating Mr. Vamsi Mohan for the seat or whether he will go along with long-time party leader.

The TDP leadership, at one stage, is learnt to have asked Mr. Vamsi Mohan to contest from Vijayawada Lok Sabha constituency as a compromise formula so that Mr. Balavardhana Rao could be accommodated in Gannavaram.

Following this, Mr. Vamsi Mohan held meetings with former MP Gadde Rammohan and reportedly made clear to the party leadership his resolve to contest only from Gannavaram Assembly segment.

Party sources say that Mr. Vamsi Mohan has even indicated that he will consider contesting as an independent from Gannavaram if ticket is denied to him. If it happens, NTR Jr. may choose to campaign for Mr. Vamsi Mohan’s victory in this constituency.

Every leader and party workers in the urban TDP have been keenly watching the developments over the past few weeks.

The good response to NTR Jr.’s road shows has made the issue even more interesting with urban leaders spending days of suspense ahead of the crucial decision.

Some party leaders say that NTR Jr. may exert pressure on the party leadership for giving Gannavaram ticket to Mr. Vamsi Mohan, just as he successfully did in the case of Kodali Srivenkateswara Rao (Nani) in Gudivada in 2004. Given his present success, NTR Jr. is expected to become even more assertive this time.

On the other hand, the TDP leadership cannot easily say no to Dasari Balavardhana Rao considering the long-standing presence.