Ramesh Susarla

Mala, Madiga candidates vie for top position

Dalit leaders want the term equally dividedPopulation of Madigas more in the four ZPTCs reserved for SC womenCongress does not want to give the TDP a chance to divide the SC votes

GUNTUR: The Guntur Zilla Parishad chairperson's post has been reserved for a Scheduled Caste woman, but the Congress does not have a candidate to project as on date and is frantically searching for one.

While the party searches for a candidate, there is serious discussion within it on which sub-caste within the Scheduled Caste should occupy the highest chair. The population of Madiga community is more in the four ZPTCs reserved for SC women, but none among them has the financial power or political advantage to put up a strong fight.

New theory

Dalit leaders in the district Congress have begun a new theory that the five-year term of the Zilla Parishad chairperson must be equally divided between the two sub-castes Mala and Madiga, which would satisfy people from both communities.

The Congress does not want to give the Telugu Desam Party a chance to divide the SC votes on the basis of sub-caste and wants to arrive at a consensus at every ZPTC constituency while fielding a candidate.

The population of Malas is comparatively lower in Vinukonda, Narsaraopet, Mangalagiri and Pedakakani ZPTCs reserved for them, but they occupy higher positions in society and have more political clout. There are seven other ZPTCs reserved for SCs, from where some aspirants want to contest.

Probable candidate

Grandhalaya Samithi Chairman Kuchipudi Sambasiva Rao's wife Vijaya, who is a reader in Acharya Nagarjuna University, is one of the probables and might try her luck from one of the SC general ZPTCs like Kolluru. Had the ZP Chairman been SC general, Mr. Sambasiva Rao was a strong contender.

The unsuccessful Congress candidate from Ponnuru Assembly segment, Mannava Rajakishore, has a relative Sucharitha as one of the probable candidates. She is the daughter of an Income Tax Additional Commissioner.

Meanwhile, former Tadikonda MLA T. Venkaiah's wife Jhansi, a practising doctor at Ponnuru, is one of the strong contenders backed even by the present MLA Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao.

Another serious candidate is wife of Bulla Subba Rao, an IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, hailing from Mangalagiri. Though the couple does not stay at Mangalagiri right now, they were talking to the party leaders at Hyderabad. As the last day for filing of nomination nears more number of candidates are likely to emerge and all power centres within the party are working overtime to get their candidate nominated.